“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. Β (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. πŸ˜‰

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.

It involves:

  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 of aquarium salt for every gallon (a .3% solution), dissolved in a cup of tank water.
  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. In fact, it is safe to assume that most fish from a pet store are carrying themΒ – they are THAT common.

  • Goldfish harboring body Flukes will twitch their fins and rub, sometimes bashing themselves on the walls and floors of the tank in an effort to scratch.
  • Eventually 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.
  • Usually fish with body flukes have gill flukes, too.
  • Gill Flukes causes them to have trouble breathing so they gulp at the surface.

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 special anti-parasite medication.

I don’t recommend ever using chemical-based medications like Praziquantel or Formalin because they are very dangerous to your aquarium environment and the fish that live in it.

Instead, I treat my new fish that have flukes with a natural parasite cure called Microbe-lift Herbtana.

In the future:

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

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 salting the tank 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, salt 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 Microbe-lift.

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).

However, this high of a concentration is extremely stressful to goldfish. In an effort to kill the parasite, you could kill your fish.

Again, Microbe-lift can be useful in a case like this.

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 Hydrogen Peroxide once.

Then treat with Microbe-Lift Artemiss, a bacterial disease treatment.

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.

Or Microbe-Lift A.Β 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 and Microbe-Lift A. have been used with success.

For advanced keepers, antibiotic injections can prove helpful if it is a life-or-death situation.

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. Treat with Microbe-Lift A. following the instructions on the bottle.

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. Microbe-Lift A. can also be good if you don’t want to harm live plants with the salt.

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.

Read more about Dropsy here.


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, a natural bacteria-expellant 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.

Pimafix (a natural anti-fungal medication) will usually bring things back in check.

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 and a diet laced with preservatives in the fish food 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 GoldfishΒ Revealed

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

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  1. CBuz November 20, 2015 at 12:56 am - Reply

    I have a 16 gallon tank with 2 gold fish in it. I didn’t want to and I knew I shouldn’t, but I was talked into taking another goldfish from a neighbor who was just in a bowl it’s entire life and she wanted a better life for it…..he was shy at first and within weeks became dominant. He would ram my other 2 fish and I noticed that were staying at the top with their fins clamped as he had the swim of the rest of the tank. I tested for poor water quality and everything came back perfect. Then I noticed he was “biting” at one of the others. I took a closer look and my pearl goldy is missing a huge patch of scales just behind it’s fills on one side and and just a few in the same area on the opposite side. I immediately took the bully fish out and tried to find him another home. The other fish that wasn’t being terrorized as much is now swimming the tank freely and no longer clamping it’s fins, but my injured fish is staying at the top, still clamping her dorsal fin and now I see that she is missing a large section of her tail fun. I don’t think it’s tail rot as it’s a large section, but I do notice a tiny bit of a fray on the other healthy fish’s hind belly fins. Help, do I have a disease or super stressed fish?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 20, 2015 at 5:22 am - Reply

      Likely it’s stress. Not only from the bullying, but from an overload on the bio system with a crowded tank. I’d watch the water quality VERY closely and keep an eye on things.

      • Hannah October 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

        Hello clementine πŸ˜„
        So I recently added 4 oranda goldfish to my 60 gallon. The tank Is cycled and everything. Two of the goldfish where from a tank filled with disease so it was a risk buying them but I felt so bad for them. I added them to the tank and they were doing just fine until a couple of weeks ago my male oranda developed an ulcer on his head right by the nostril. Since the other fish started picking on him I put him in a 10 gallon and added medications against bacterial infections and I’ve being doing a lot of water changes. Since the medications didn’t work I added garlic to his tank for 5 days. I’m not sure if it’s healing Though ☹️ I really do not want to loose this fish. What more can I do to make him recover?

        Rating: 5
        • Clementine
          Clementine October 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm - Reply

          Sorry to hear that, Hannah πŸ™ Definitely try to keep his water as clean as possible, maybe swab the area with hydrogen peroxide if possible being sure not to get it in his eyes.

          • Kevin October 18, 2017 at 4:40 am - Reply

            Hello, Clementine! I just want to ask what is the solution for my oranda that is just floating, but still alive, and it seems to be just plainly floating, but she does swim a bit, then she will float again, and my fantails, have red blood marks on the scales, and the other one on her tummy. More power!

            Rating: 5
            • Clementine
              Clementine October 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm - Reply

              Have you tried testing the water for ammonia and nitrites yet? Red blood marks are usually from water quality related issues.

  2. CBuz November 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    That’s what I thought. I have not reintroduced the bully fish and won’t be. I’ll do another water check and change today. I added fresh water without a vacuum the other day and treated with the water conditioner and my orange perked right up. I’ll vacuum today and hope for the best.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Vacuums are great at keeping the water clean πŸ˜‰

  3. Helena thomas December 15, 2015 at 6:17 am - Reply

    I have bought about 5 goldfish from the the store. I have 10 all together they was doing alright for a minute. One or two of my was dieing. Then my other fish eyes we’re looking bigger than the other. So I found this website about pop eye. I use the the salt 0.3 in my tank will it help the others. So how long will I see results.

    Thank you


    • Clementine
      Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Helena. =) So you have a 10 gallon tank with 10 goldfish in it? That is definitely overstocked, so most likely what happened is you have a very high level of ammonia or nitrites in the tank, which stressed the immune system of the fish and caused a secondary bacterial infection. In that case salt won’t be able to do much if your water quality is not where it should be. It is recommended to have no more than 1 fancy goldfish per 10 gallons of water to avoid that happening. Hope your fish recovers soon!

      • Crellin June 12, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

        I think I burnt my fish with putting salt in my tank came home and there is a big hole in my black moor gold fish eye it’s white and I don’t know what to do take it out it’s misery or will get better

        • Clementine
          Clementine June 14, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

          He might get better if you can keep the water quality under control, but if his behavior is bad off it may be kindest to euthanize. :/

  4. Graphics December 16, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply


    This site has been so helpful in helping to figure things out .
    But I cant seem to figure out this issue .
    We had added the water conditioner 24 hours before the fish came and and on Sunday night the filter was added .
    That night the fish was added into the tank.
    We added our goldfish into tank and he seemed pretty happy, he was a little shy at first, he was swimming in the corner of the tank, and would eventually, swim up and swim around.
    But with a couple of days in, we noticed something weird, he would swim in the bottom of the tank, he would turn in circles, and then eventually swim to the other side of the tank. So we thought he would be fine.
    What we noticed was when we fed him he would eat a little, but we weren’t sure if he was eating much.
    But then , yesterday, night I noticed he was hanging around the bottom tank more than usual.
    Then before I left, he was wrapped around the filter, so I turned off the filter, and found him dead.
    I noticed when I picked up him he had a green tint to the bottom on his body, it looked like slime to me , but I am not sure.
    I am just trying to figure out why or how he died.

    Also, when we received him he did seem stressed out and looked like he was on his last leg , but then we changed him into a bigger ‘home’ it was about 1.5 gallon tank. Then after, when we bought the ten gallon tank, we switched him to that.

    I hope this is enough information !

    Thanks for the input !

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 12:59 am - Reply

      Sorry for your loss =( Sounds like a case of new tank syndrome to me, Graphics. Very common if the system has not been cycled first. That process takes many weeks. The results if you don’t do that are often sudden death, because the ammonia surges quickly to levels that are fatal to goldfish.

  5. bianca December 17, 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Heeeeelp! I observed that My telescope eyed goldfish Got cloudy eyes at first but then after a week one of its eye popped it got a hole and i can see the intestines inside its head! :'(
    What would I do to prevent other fishes in my tank

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 1:01 am - Reply

      That doesn’t sound good, bianca. Cloudy eyes are often the result of a burn or injury, often from bad water. Keep your water clean to prevent your other fish from having that problem.

  6. SUFYAN December 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    i have two black moor fish.one of them started getting sick, the fins on tail started rotting, i don’t have fish salt or kit. then the fish could not move properly it was always on his side. it always was near the heater. then it could hardly move, on next day i found it brown and dead. now the other black moor fish tail fins is started rotting. i put a medicine which is”M-I” for fungus, white spot and velvet. am i doing right? please help me also have 6 balloon guppy, three gold fish, two angel fish, but two balloon guppy i found dead possibly of same not sure, they had given birth before. my tank is three foot long and 1.5 foot high there is alot of space and my temperature is 29 Celsius always. there are pebbles in it which were collected one year ago. and fake plants.

  7. SUFYAN December 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    also any tips to how to keep tannk clean and know for sure it is clean

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 1:04 am - Reply

      My advice would be to take out the guppies and other tropical fish, Sufyan. Goldfish should only be kept with other goldfish. You most likely have a dirty tank. Water changes on a regular basis with a siphon is very important. You should also test the water regularly for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH so you will know when something isn’t right with the water quality.

  8. SUFYAN December 18, 2015 at 6:54 am - Reply

    i do not have kit and equipment ,i only have net, methane blue , antichlorine and anti fungus but no other tank , i have 1 foot tank but we are keeping the babies of the guppies in it. and the fish store does not sell kit nor fish salt. i have been told black moor fish is very sensetive but temperature remain same now how do i test my water and i use a filters and pump.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Temperature really isn’t as important as water quality for goldfish. You don’t have to have a test kit, in fact (confession) I rarely use mine πŸ˜‰ If you suspect a problem, change the water and keep changing it every day using a siphon at the bottom of the tank. You may want to take back all of those tropicals to the store or find them a new home. They are only contributing to the waste load of the tank and often stress the goldfish out by picking on them.

  9. SUFYAN December 18, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

    i noticed that my black moor fish fins edges are turning white. is it bad or good

  10. SUFYAN December 18, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

    also it keeps its fins low,i guess you call it clamped

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      Yeah, those are both bad signs that there is a problem with dirty water.

  11. Nico December 18, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hi Clemente..

    One of my goldfish got bumps on his side more like white bumps..he still moving and eating..what medicine would be good for him?:.im going to do water change as I think I been feeding them too much and made my water bad really fast

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Nico =) If your water isn’t perfect, don’t mess with medicines. If you have been overfeeding what you need to do is get the water quality under control by changing the water very frequently.

  12. Jess December 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    We recently acquired a common goldfish this fall that my son had won at an event. Purchased a sarasa to give him a friend on black friday. Since then I have been trying to educate myself reading up on different articles online. I purchased aquarium salt, stresszyme, pH kit, a hob filter (big enough for 30 gal.), air stones. I also bought a feeder comet that I felt sorry for and figured if he died, my loss would only be 15 cents, and he wouldn’t get eaten. They are only in a 10 gal at this very moment because the larger tank I acquired needs resealed. So while I am working on getting them a bigger house, I am doing frequent water changes with a siphon (old hose), and doing my best to keep the waste level down. However, since I do not have a kit to test for nitrite and nitrate levels, I don’t know what my water quality actually is, but still doing multiple water changes a week, if not daily. My issue with this is they are flashing and darting , and the little comet is trying to rub his side on objects occasionally. The sarasa does have white or cloudy spots on some of his fins. They all are missing a few scales, but are all getting along, have good appetites, and do not act lathargic. The pH is always 7.6 or 7.5 and they do have a heater that keeps the tank at a steady 73Β°F. I started feeding them small goldfish pellets to help keep the mess down. I know I need the kit to check ALL of the water levels, however, I’m trying to wait till after Christmas to purchase more necessities. What do you recommend to keep their stress down and how to go about their health issues in the meantime?

    Sorry this is so long! Lol but the comet did rip his tail fin all the way up to the meat, and he was bleeding. I put some salt in to help with healing. He healed really well, and had grown back together in 2 or 3 days. Aside from the dark coloration from the blood in his tail, you wouldn’t have known he had an injury. Thank you for your time and any input is greatly appreciated! πŸ™‚

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 19, 2015 at 4:44 am - Reply

      If you see flashing, you’ve probably got an ammonia problem. Until you can get the test kit I would advise changing the water every day. If you don’t, they could end up getting to the point of no return :/ But good job on getting a bigger tank, that will really help! πŸ™‚

  13. Jess December 19, 2015 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Ok that’s kinda what I was thinking and why I’ve been changing the water regularly. Plus the tank is relatively ‘new’, and had only been set up for a week or 2 before the first fish was added, so I guess I’m probably dealing with new tank syndrome? I’ve been a little heavy on the stresszyme to help get things going. I was told the bigger tank is a 20 gal, but I’m thinking it may only be a 15 :\ I haven’t measured it, but, it’s still bigger till
    I get another one as they grow. I’ve read up on different types of diseases goldfish can have, but their symptoms sound like it could be a few different things. so I’m wondering if it is just the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and possibly NOT bacterial?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Yep, you’re probably right on track there.

  14. SUFYAN December 19, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi clementine, i have no siphon. my three goldfish, and the black moor fish died suddenly they were just fine 2 houes ago. one time i kept 12 goldfish and theh survived a long time together they died of old age. i have the tnk for a year now but nothing like this ever happened before. also the roof above have termite in them. and the powder that falls everyday. each day i clean it. but some of the termite powder fell into the tank while they dig into the wood. could it poosibly be that they are dying of that. and i dont have a siphoon. i guess i will buy one now. now i just have 2 angel fish and 4 balloon fish whose tails fin are rotting. i guess if they all die i will clean the tank fully.if the fins are rotting could it possibly be fungus oor is it termite powder. i dont have siphokn and i am not using the undergravel filter i am using the other one which you attach at sides.

  15. SUFYAN December 19, 2015 at 11:26 am - Reply

    black moor fish is like a blac goldfish with big eyes. i just read article that you should not put goldfish with tropical fish for 7 reasons does black moor fish count as gold fish. now i won’t put goldfish with tropical fish .only tropical fish is that good enough .will then my fish die or not. Thank you very much. you know alot about fish and how to maintain them. also ph value should always be 8. i will bye a kit for that. now i will kewp angel fish, balloon guppies, platee and betta .thank you. now i know i can always ask you for advice even though i am muslim no offence meant to you. thank you very much

    • SUFYAN December 19, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

      how do i clean my tank if i have no salt i wanted to ask

    • SUFYAN December 19, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

      last line last part was my brother not me

      • Clementine
        Clementine December 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

        Don’t worry the sawdust won’t hurt them. What is most dangerous to them is their poop. If you aren’t siphoning the bottom of the tank than it just builds up and builds up until it kills them. That is why they have to have their tank cleaned every week with a siphon, usually 50% to 90% of the water. And clean the filter. Yes, black moors are goldfish not tropical. You are welcome to ask me for any advice you need πŸ™‚ And for your brother, you don’t have to have salt to clean the tank. Cleaning just means you take out dirty water with poop and replace it with fresh water, making sure there is no gross crud anywhere.

  16. SUFYAN December 20, 2015 at 5:07 am - Reply

    well what i normally do is i shake the gravel then i scoop upmthe poop with a mug once a week. i will try to but a siphoon but i am saving for x box. if i get money i will buy. but what my brother does is that he puts then in a bowl and washes the the whole tank completely every month. with the gravel . its not good for the fish. so is doing this risky or not. i also read if one is sick try the shedded frozen pea trick

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Afraid frozen peas don’t do all that much. Clean water is the trick πŸ˜‰ Siphons can be made yourself with a piece of tubing if you have to. What your brother is doing is not necessary if you have a siphon. But I think you will find that gravel is hard to clean. I don’t recommend using it at all, if you don’t have to.

  17. Rosa December 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I have two black moors and their tank is WAY too small, it’s only 17l. I’m getting a 112l tank next week which will be 24g. Still too small but better.
    One of my fish was floating at the top so I fed him peas and he went back to normal for a day then was floating again. So I fed him peas again and once more he got better…then went back to floating. He’s now lying at the bottom of the tank with clamped fins. I didn’t feed him the past three days and when I tried to feed him peas today he wasn’t interested.
    I think my other fish is becoming less active and I’m worried about him being ill too.
    My question is, what should I do and will they survive until I get my new tank? Tanks take a while to cycle don’t they?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Change the water every day, would be my advice, Rosa. They will only survive if they don’t get poisoned by their waste, which is what happens many times in a small space. Tanks do take a while to “cycle” but you can work around that by changing the water constantly.

  18. Rosa December 20, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Yeh I’ll definitely start doing that! So when I get my new tank, I should be able to put them in it soon if I do constant water changes?
    Also I want to get rid of their gravel, because I think it’s bad for them but I’ve heard that taking it out can release a lot of bad bacteria and kill them. What would you advise?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 20, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      You’re looking at about 90% daily while the filter is going in order to do that. No, I’d get the gravel out because if it has bad bacteria it is already leaching into the water. Then change the water afterwards.

  19. Rosa December 21, 2015 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Okay, how long should I do that for?? And should I let it cycle for like a day first?
    Should I change ALL the water after I remove the gravel or just like 50%?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Usually it takes several weeks for the system to mature. I would do 90% after taking out the gravel to get that water extra clean.

  20. Sunny December 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    I found scales of my goldfish at the bottom of my tank. Should I be worried? I live in Malaysia. And I really appreciate ur information here.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Are you sure they are scales, Sunny, and not teeth? Goldfish do lose their teeth occasionally and it is quite normal. But if you see gaps in the scales on your goldfish you are looking at a water quality problem most likely.

  21. Beth December 26, 2015 at 10:37 am - Reply

    I have 2 goldfish and one of them has small things growing on his head. It looks like there are fish-eggs growing on top and there always start growing more. I don’t have the feeling he is feeling sick, he still eats well but I’m starting to worry about him. Could you help me please?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 27, 2015 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Sounds like it could be a tumor, Beth. Those are usually an indication that the water quality isn’t right. I would suggest testing the water and then changing it right away.

  22. Carolina December 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    I’m taking care of my friends fish while she’s out of the country. There’s 4 gold fish and one white one. (I’m not sure what kind) as I don’t know much about fish I’ve realized they are acting really weird. The white fish stays at the bottom of the tank and doesn’t move. It has a red patch on the top of its head and for not knowing much about fish I know the tank is really small to be holding five fish. It’s probably a gallon and a half I’m not sure. But the white fish swims vertically at times and I don’t really want to spend money on them because like I said they aren’t my fish. I know her parents will be disappointed if one of them ends up dying. She said they’ve had them for about two months, what do I do with the white fish??

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 27, 2015 at 5:05 am - Reply

      You’re in a tough spot, Carolina. All you can really do is try to change the water for them, making sure there is no waste at the bottom and that the filter (if they have one) is cleaned with tank water. Likely they are suffering from an accumulation of toxins in the water. You could also not feed because feeding will lead to higher waste production and faster deteriorating of the water. If you aren’t familiar with water changes I’d be happy to elaborate.

      • Carolina December 27, 2015 at 6:01 am - Reply

        Please do if you don’t mind.

        • Clementine
          Clementine December 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

          Sure =) You would need some kind of a siphon, maybe if the tank is small a turkey baster would work. Suck off the bottom where the waste is accumulating until about 1/2 the water is emptied. Then you would replace the water you took out with tap water treated with some kind of chlorine remover. Hope that makes sense, feel free to ask if you need further clarifying.

  23. Mira December 27, 2015 at 7:27 am - Reply

    HELP! I just realised that one of my 3 goldfishes has bright red sores on its body. I just came back from a holiday, and I kept them fed during that time using a 7 day fish feeder (it’s some sort of block that releases food and nutrients into the water). I now realise that the ammonia is crazy high, 80 mg/L. I’ve changed the water and added these blocks that lower the ammonia level. The pH is at 7.8 but it is normally a bit high in my fish tank (I’ve also added dome buffer to lower it to 7.5).
    I think that the red spots are ulcers, and I’ve just read some scary stuff about them!!! They look very painful and I feel terrible!
    What should I do?
    Will she be okay?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 27, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Ammonia can cause those ulcers, Mira, so I would be sure to change the water every day until it gets under control. As a side note that’s why I don’t recommend automatic feeders. Be sure not to overreact and start doing all kinds of things, just focus on pristine water.

  24. SUFYAN December 29, 2015 at 4:57 am - Reply

    hi clementine now only i have six balloon mollys left. i am trying to make a siphoon out of old hose. i changed about half of my tank water. now i am waiting until they pass. after that i will wash my tank completely then siphoon the gravel. then i will keep tropical fish but I have a question can tropical fish live without salt in a freshwater aquarium.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:02 am - Reply

      Yeah I think tropical fish are fine without salt. They aren’t brackish water typically. Sorry to hear you’re leaving the goldfish hobby =/

  25. SUFYAN December 29, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    goldfish are not my type of fish. Also the tank gets dirty real fast.thats why i am leaving goldfish

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:48 am - Reply

      That is usually a sign of overfeeding…

  26. kim December 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    we were out for the day today and just got home a bit ago, i noted that my posd commet had what looks like a lrg zit on his side that is pisging one of his scales up. this was not there this morning when i fed the fish. the fish is the size of your hand and its rather alarming. i have never seen this type of thing on my fish before so i’m not sur what it is or how to treat it. we have a full complete tank change plained for saturday as its not possable to due one till then. any ideas of what it may be. i looked up comon illnesses but it seems like none of them. i’m puzzled. any help would be great. thank you! kim

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 30, 2015 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      It could be the beginning of a tumor, or an isolated bacteria infection. If it begins to turn red and eat away then it is an ulcer. Are you doing weekly water changes?

  27. Sparky December 30, 2015 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I NEED HELP BADLY!!! I have two fish, one is a goldfish and the other is a white fish I don’t know the name of (it has some black streaks on its tail and looks like it doesn’t have any scales???). I have had these two for about two years. I believe both of my fish are terribly sick.

    My goldfish has basically lost almost ALL of its colour. It (don’t know its gender) is normally always excited to see me when I feed them but now it just hides from me. Its breathing looks laboured. Its fins are completely fine and normal, only that it is white. And due to it being white I cannot see if it has an ich or a carp pox. Its fins are also not clamped. But what bothers me is that on its left side, some scales have fallen off! Its behaviour is “looking normal” when I am not near but when I come close, it just rubs its nose against the glass but then swims away and hides. It is not eating as much as before.

    My white fish always hides from me until it sees food. Sometimes it ignored the food as well. But the main problem with this fish is that it sometimes flashes against the glass and the rocks (I don’t have gravel). And I also notice that when I am not there, it stays on the surface (goldfish does it a bit as well). Its fins are fine except for its tail that always looks droopy, not sure if this is normal for this fishes specie. Fins aren’t clamped as well.Its breathing is also laboured, much like goldfish.

    I actually don’t know the size of my tank but it is quite small. I wonder if it is way too small for these two. I use white rocks on the bottom instead of gravel. And because I am a beginner on this stuff, I have a water filter and water conditioner and nothing else. I do have some hiding places for them. I am wondering if I need light because the tank is on a shelf next to a plug-in for the filter (and the filter doesn’t seem to be doing its job well…). I don’t know how to clean my tank properly either and I don’t understand “water changes”. I don’t have any other tanks. I feed my fish with this stuff called “Goldfish Granules” to both of them twice a day.

    I don’t know what I can do! I’ll be leaving my fish for two weeks on the 8th of Jan. Not sure if they are going to live long enough for me to come back. I just want to know what disease my fish has because I have been searching and examining for hours but I can’t make a single match. I am starting to feel very emotional about them…

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      Well, Sparky, water changes and water quality are the key to goldfish health. If the water is bad the fish will be sick, it’s not usually (actually, almost NEVER) a disease. Your fish sound like they are suffering from high ammonia or nitrite levels. I’ll be coming out with an article on the subject soon, but for now know that for a properly stocked tank (for 2 fancies you should have at least 20 gallons) you should aim for removing 50% weekly with a siphon from the bottom and replacing with treated tap water.

      • Sparky December 31, 2015 at 12:14 am - Reply

        Thanks for the info! I am aiming to get all the equipment I need as fast as possible. I’ll try to treat the water and control the ammonia and nitrite levels and see what happens next.

      • Sparky December 31, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

        Oh and one more thing! What exactly am I removing 50% of?

        • Clementine
          Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:21 am - Reply

          Water/poop from the bottom of the tank πŸ˜‰

          • Sparky January 3, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

            I finally got the stuff I needed and can already see an improvement between the two fish. But will my goldfish regain its colour/scales?

            • Clementine
              Clementine January 3, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

              Yes, with good care the scales can grow back and colour will return to normal =)

              • Sparky January 22, 2016 at 7:00 am - Reply

                I just wanna ask, how long does it take for my goldfish to regain its colour and scales? Because its appearance has not changed whatsoever. And also, I have been doing 50% water changes once a week (kinda, just got back from a 12-day holiday 2 days ago). Is it better if I do more water changes? If so, how many per week?

                • Clementine
                  Clementine January 23, 2016 at 4:45 am - Reply

                  Yes more is always better. Theoretically every day would be just dandy, but most people don’t have that kind of a schedule. At least be sure to do it weekly at all costs, but every other day or a few times a week will give you even more success.

  28. kim December 31, 2015 at 1:04 am - Reply

    i never have a dirty tank. i due water and tank and filter changes usually on a reg basis. i have a fluval for a 100gal tank and i only have a 20gal tank so it keep it very clean. its weird cause it litterly looks like a big fat ready to pop zit. any suggestions on what to due. were going to due a full tank/water and filter change on saturday morning, can’t fit one in before then as we have a big newyears eve and new years dinner family thing to due. is there a treatment for this type of thing? or something i can due for the tank in case it spreadt yo my other fish as i have a comunity tank.

    • kim December 31, 2015 at 1:14 am - Reply

      i due have to admit that the tank was supposed to be changed 2 weeks ago but with the hoildays we had to put it off till this saturday. due you think this will go away or clear up if we clean the tank fully and due a full filter and water change. or due i need to get some sort of meds for the tank?

      • Clementine
        Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:24 am - Reply

        A daily water change of 25% or more would be even better than a full one. In fact that is what I would do in your place if at all possible. 99% of the time water is the reason why goldfish have problems. If the water improves they usually get better, it isn’t something that meds can help most of the time. You could also test the water to see if something is off, but even so, water changes are the treatment that will do the most good.

  29. kim December 31, 2015 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you we are going to due a 50% water change today, but i noticed that one of the filter ports was clogged almost completelytoday with plant stuff think the pond commet guy that is sick broke off a bunch of the plants and they all got sucked into the one side of the filter. so i need to due a full cleaning to get the hoses off and everything unclogged in there. its not clogged right at the opening eather its in a bit were the hose bends upward slightly, not sure how long its been like that eather. i’m thinking its the issue. i removed alot of the ornimental stuff from the tank a month or so ago, caues the fish is sorta bit for the tank now and he was for ever banding into everything. her comming on 8 years old now so hes a big sookie baby. an way last night i noted stuff somming out of this thing i said looks like a zit, now today it looks like its a bit better, the scales are not bulged out so far andthe zit thing looks better than it did. is this a bad sign that its getting worse? due you think removing the 2 scales that this zit thing is under will help it get better? or should i just leave it alone. sence i’m changing the tank on Saturday anyway due you think a garlic treatment would help boost the fishes system a bit to help beat this thing at all?

    • kim December 31, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      my homecare support worker is here right now and she said it actually looks like one of the scales might be infected to here it want it looks like. is there some way i can add a picture of the fish you can view to see the thing? thank you!

      • Clementine
        Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

        You’re welcome to start a topic in the forums where you can upload photos πŸ™‚

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      I would not do anything to it. No, I wouldn’t add garlic, I would focus on keeping that filter clean and the water quality pristine. If you do that the goldfish has healing agents that can repair the damage and recovers best without doing other things. Only if you are sure the water is perfect for a while and the fish still does not recover should you seek treatments.

  30. kim December 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    ok, thank you i will try all that and if it has no effect then i’ll be back and with pictures. you have a great new years. kim

  31. Rajib January 1, 2016 at 4:48 am - Reply

    Need urgent help…
    My gold fish is not moving or floating… It’s not eating as well…I am worried …also I can see its tail is getting red…please help

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      Likely you have water quality trouble, Rajib. Change the water right away and do so each day until your fish improves would be my advice =)

  32. Jim January 2, 2016 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I have a single 3 year old fantail goldfish named Chumlee in a 10 gallon tank. I was doing 40% water changes/gravel vacuuming every two weeks. I added prime to the new tap water before it went into the fish tank.
    Christmas Eve when I went to turn on the light and found him at the bottom in the corner with his tail slightly bent and his top fin down. I went to the Internet and it recommended more water changes so I vacuumed the gravel and removed 40% of the water.
    I noticed a improvement but not back to normal.
    Since the 24th I’ve done a 40% water change every other day.
    I add prime to the water before I add the water to the tank.
    Today I went to the pet store and had the water tested, everything was good. They told me to stop the water changes and to start doing them once a week. I showed them photos and a video of Chumlee, they said he looked normal.
    He’s better but still not back to normal and sometimes lays still at the bottom of the tank with his top fin down.
    If he is at the bottom and I get his attention he comes to me wanting to eat. He’s still eating his food. I feed him once a day.
    When he’s not at the bottom of the tank he’s his normal self.
    Is there anything else I should be doing? I don’t want him to suffer.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 4:50 am - Reply

      Hi Jim, my advice would be to remove the gravel entirely. Pet stores don’t tell you this but it is a trap for debris and a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria. No matter how much you vacuum it’s just about impossible to keep clean… bare-bottom is the best way to go. As long as he is doing poorly I would recommend doing daily water changes and reduce feeding. Go by the condition of the fish, not just the test results, and only reduce the frequency of the water changes when you are confident he is better. You may also want to check out the feeding article to make sure you are on the right track with how much he is getting. Get well soon, Chumlee! =)

      • Jim January 6, 2016 at 2:43 am - Reply


        Update. I removed all the gravel and have done 40% water changes everyday. Chumlee is still the same.
        Today I did a 70% water change and cleaned the filter in the extracted water.
        I feed him Tetra Color sinking goldfish granules. I’ve cut back on the amount I usually give him. Now I give him 3 granules one at a time to make sure he eats it. He has had none in the last two days.
        The only positive has been when I gave him 2 ends of a half of a pea, that was yesterday and today.
        After the pea feedings he stayed off the bottom for two hours straight each day.
        He still comes to me when I am in front of the tank.
        From what I’ve researched I know I have to get Chumlee a 30 gallon tank. I would like to make sure he’s going to survive before I do. However if you think the current size of the tank is causing his problems and a larger tank will make him well I will make the purchase.
        I think I’ve come close to reaching the end of the internet where goldfish are concerned. All that info can be so confusing.
        I appreciate all your help and think I will just ask you when i have questions.
        1. What brand of pellet/granules should I be feeding him?
        2. Should I stop feeding him anything for a few days?
        3. Would Fish medicines help?
        4. Should I leave the tank light off until he’s better?
        5. I follow the instructions when using Prime. Should I use more? Would it help or hurt?
        6. Would adding salt to the tank help?

        I’m getting both my tap and tank water tested tomorrow. Thanks again for your help. Jim

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 6, 2016 at 3:33 am - Reply

          Yeah, there is a lot of conflicting info out there so it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

          Regarding your questions…

          1. I recommend the high-quality kind sold in our store.
          2. Yes, when you have water quality problems don’t feed.
          3. No.
          4. Yes.
          5. You could use up to 5X the strength of Prime safely, but I think water changes get to the root of the problem better.
          6. No, salt will only cause more stress if there are no parasites.

          Regardless of the test results (which can vary based on the time of testing) I would continue to change the water until you see improvement. It may take some time. Hopefully Chumlee recovers soon, I’m rooting for him! πŸ˜‰

          • Jim January 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply


            Good Morning.
            I just checked on Chumlee and he’s now struggling against the current the filter creates in the tank, that’s never been a issue. Is it ok to turn off the filter? Even for a little awhile? Or is the filter helping to force water over his gills in his weakened state?

            • Clementine
              Clementine January 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

              Yes, it is important that if the fish is having difficulty swimming against the current, that the filter flow is reduced or even eliminated. If they are struggling that means they are getting stressed.

              • Jim January 8, 2016 at 5:22 am - Reply


                Update, Turning off the filter seemed to help Chumlee swim easier when he comes off the bottom. He only leaves the bottom to greet me, hoping i give him food. I looked at a video i took of Chumlee a few days ago and his swimming is weaker. I’ve been doing 30% daily water changes. Is 30% a day to much or not enough water? last night I covered the tank with a towel hoping it might reduce Chumlee’s stress, will covering the tank help?
                Tomorrow evening will be 3 days without food. the last 2 evenings there were fresh fish droppings in the tank, i vacuum them out when i do the water changes. Should i continue not feeding him? or start feeding him again, fish food or peas?
                Thanks for your help, Jim

                • Clementine
                  Clementine January 10, 2016 at 4:56 am - Reply

                  I would do at least 50% changes daily if it were me. As far as the peas go, I don’t recommend them especially when having water quality problems because they are so high protein and tend to cloud the water. Don’t feed as long as you are in the process of balancing the system; goldfish can live a very long time without food =) When you say his swimming is weaker hopefully that means in the video. Rooting for Chumlee! πŸ˜‰

                  • Jim January 25, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

                    Chumlee Update 1-24-16

                    After my last post Chumlee got a lot weaker. In the morning I went to check on him and I got no response for the first minute, I thought he had died during the night. After a loud tap on the tank he finally moved a little.
                    I did a 40% water change.
                    After the water change I went to the local pet store fish section. Luckily for me the person who was in charge of the health of the in store fish was working that morning. I gave her Chumlees history and showed her the videos. I told her the water was spot on. The first thing she asked me about was what I was feeding him and how old was the food. Chumlee is actually 4 years old. I took over his care from my son a year ago. I called my son to find out how old the food was and to my surprise it was already a year and a half old when he gave me Chumlee, the food was 2 1/2 years old.
                    I didn’t think Chumlee would survive another night so I asked her what food she would recommend and if there was any fish meds that might help. She showed me a high protein fish food and a medicine called KanaPlex.
                    After thinking Chumlee had died and I might have been starving him to death with bad food I made the decision to feed him for few days with the new food to see if I could get his strength back, it worked. He improved to the point where I felt comfortable enough to give him the KanaPlex.
                    Chumlee has had the 3 doses of KanaPlex and has been eating his new food everyday. I’ve been doing one gallon water changes for two days in a row to clean out the fish poop and 40% water changes on the third day. I’ve been on this schedule sense I went to the pet store.
                    I’m happy to report that Chumlee is off the bottom of the tank and is 80% back to normal. He seems to be getting stronger everyday.
                    I’m on a fixed income and have been looking on Craigslist for a 30 gallon tank so I can upgrade the size of Chumlees home.
                    I want to thank you again for all your help! Jim

                    • Clementine
                      Clementine January 25, 2016 at 5:27 am

                      Great, glad he is doing better! Hope Chumlee does well for many more years to come. πŸ™‚

                    • Jim March 9, 2016 at 11:19 pm


                      Chumlee update 3-9-16

                      I’m happy to report that Chumlee is once again healthy and back to normal. I’ve upgraded from the 10 to a 36 gallon tank. The transfer went smooth and he loves his new tank.
                      I now feed him twice a day and do once a week 10 gallon water changes.
                      Thanks again for your helpful information. Jim

                    • Clementine
                      Clementine March 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm

                      Awesome to hear that, Jim! πŸ˜€ Glad Chumlee made it through!

                    • Jim September 9, 2017 at 3:28 pm


                      For the most part during the last year and a half Chumlee has been healthy and happy. Two months ago Chumlee started having swim bladder issues, no matter what I did to help nothing I tried worked. Sadly, on August 29th Chumlee past away.

                      After I adopted Chumlee from my son he became part of our family. My wife and I found ourselves watching Chumlee swim and play forcing us to rewind our DVR because we missed part of the program we were watching.

                      Over the years when Chumlee was sick I would video him with my iPhone so I could show the workers at the pet store what was going on. I would also video Chumlee when he was healthy so they could see the difference.
                      This is Chumlee during healthy times.


                      I’ve been looking in pet stores trying to decide if I want to add one or two Fantails to my empty fish tank. Chumlee will be hard to replace.

                      Thanks again for your help back in 2016. Your advice and your website helped give us a extra year and a half with Chumlee.


                      Rating: 5
                    • Clementine
                      Clementine September 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

                      Aww I’m so sorry to hear that Chumlee passed away :'( My sympathies are with you, it is so hard to lose them!

  33. Super_Jelly January 3, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Hi I really need some help πŸ™
    I have three fish and two of my fish have ammonia poisoning. I realized today and moved my one good fish who is a male. I will also inform you that the fish were in cold water for two months and I wanted to breed them so I turned up the water. One day immediately after I put up the water, white spots appeared on the male, and i’m not sure if these are breeding stars or not. there are quite a lot of these spots on him though. Anyway they were in my tank and then I realized that my fish started laying on the bottom of the tub, with clamped fins. I do 90% water changes once a week. I want to know how to cure the poisoning but I don’t know how. One of the poisoned ones started getting better, and the other started getting worse. What should I do? please please help me. I don’t want my fish to die ;(

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Are the spots on his gill covers and front fins? If so they are probably breeding stars. To cure ammonia poisoning, what you’ve got to do is daily water changes of 50 to 90%.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Oh, and reduce feeding πŸ™‚

  34. Emily January 3, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I just got 10 goldfish last night at around 7:30 and I came home and put the bag full of them into the tank full of water and at 10:00 I opened the bag the temperature in the tank was 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Last night at around 12:00 I liked at them and fed them for the last time that night and noticed one little fish sitting at the bottom of the tank not moving, I took the net and tried to move him but he wouldn’t move so I sat there and watched him for about 10-15 minutes and he was moving but very little. I thought he was just shy but I don’t know and this morning when I woke up I looked at them fed them and the fish was still sitting in the same spot. I didn’t know what was wrong with him/her so I moved him/her into a smaller container with no other fish and gave him some food because he wasn’t eating in the other tank. He/she has big black spot on his sides and black on the tip of all his fins and 2 little holes a little bit above between his eyes. I feed all my fish 2 times a day once in the morning and once at night and I long give them a little pinch. I am feed them Goldfish Flakes.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      What size is your tank, Emily? And did you cycle it before adding the fish? Either way by adding 10 fish all at once there is probably a huge ammonia surge going on.

  35. Emily January 3, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Also all the other fish are swimming around just fine but that one. Also how can you tell if a goldfish is pregnant or not??

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Goldfish can’t be pregnant because they don’t bear live young, they scatter eggs into the water which are fertilized outside of the mommy fish’s body =)

  36. Emily January 3, 2016 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    It is a 5 gallon tank. I’m only 12 what do you mean by cycle it before adding the fish and huge ammonia surge mean??

  37. Emily January 4, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Never mind I think he just died???he’s not moving or breathing???

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 4:11 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear about that Emily =( That is so hard. Ammonia is something fish produce with their waste. It quickly builds up and if the water isn’t changed a lot then their waste can poison them. Cycling the tank is a process that “conditions” the tank to be ready for that ammonia when you add fish. Hopefully you are able to try again in the future.

  38. Super_Jelly January 4, 2016 at 4:46 am - Reply

    they are not only on his gills and fins they are all over his body and also on his tail and top fin

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      In that case it may be ich you are dealing with…

  39. Kalina January 4, 2016 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Hi there. I work at a family owned fish/pet store and I have a few tanks of my own as well, yet this is the first time I have ever seen a goldfish come down with what mine seems to have. I have it narrowed down to either tumors, flukes, or ulcers, or maybe a combination. I got my goldfish George from Wal-Mart (I know I know) about a year ago and he’s been growing up super fast and pretty healthy. Unfortunately I also had two large bully goldfish whom I recently got rid of (gave them to a friend who has a pond) and they used to tear at the fins of everyone else in my 40 gallon tank. Now that they’re gone and I added new fish about 2 months ago, George seems to have come down with something bad. While everyone else’s fins healed up, George’s fins got worse. And he started getting multiple bumps on him. He’s always been a little chubby and he’s starting to look slightly bigger in the belly than normal. He now has an ulcer which I either see pus or a worm sticking out of at times. He is in a mesh net hanging in his normal tank, so somewhat isolated. I’m thinking about taking him to work with me and treating him with antibiotics and melafix. He barely moves but still has a normal appetite. I can give you a link to some close up pictures I took of the ulcer and bumps if you’d like to see them. Do you have any idea what this could be?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Kalina, I do have a few ideas but I would need to know a bit more about your water change schedule, feeding schedule and if you have tested the water yet for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. You are welcome to send me a picture if you open a topic in the Health Concerns forum =)

      • Kalina January 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

        I do a 10-15 gallon water change every three weeks. I feed once a day usually, but I hand feed each fish so that there isn’t waste. I gravel vacuum on a weekly basis and change the filter cartridge when it starts looking a little dirty, so every two to three weeks. I have a combination of fish that most fish keepers wouldn’t be happy about (4 small goldfish, three guppies, two angels, a pleco and a female betta) in my 40G hex tank. I give the goldfish flakes and pellets, and I give the Angels and betta a mix of blood worms and pellets. I feed once a day, although sometimes I feed half amounts twice a day. I test my water myself regularly and all is normal. Once every two months I bring it to work and have it tested there. I have had my tank running like this without problem for a year, I recently added two fish right before the problem started.

      • Kalina January 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

        I should also note that there is no aggression in the tank between anybody so I very highly doubt this being bites from someone else in the tank

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 4, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

          I would definitely advise upping the percentage of water you are changing to at least 20 gallons twice a week for the # of fish you have, and cleaning the filter whenever you clean the water. I think your system is overloaded, and you’re right about most people probably not being happy about that mix of fish ha ha. πŸ˜‰ You may not be open to this but if it were me I would take out the tropicals and put them in their own tank. Angel fish become very aggressive with time and plecos are notorious for sucking goldfish at night. Nobody can always watch the tank 24/7 to see if bullying happens, often the fish are distracted when people are in the room so they don’t fight.

          • Kalina January 5, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

            So do you have any ideas on what those bumps could be? And I’ve had quite a few years experience with tank keeping, I keep it at a temp that’s good with everybody. %50 water changes a week will send my system way out of balance, because the tap water around here takes 2 weeks to treat properly so adding in the harsh metals and chemicals that come with it, even after treating it, in a heavier scale and more constantly than normal will do nothing but hurt my fish, as I learned during experience with the first few tanks I have. The water quality is perfect so I think I am keep doing what I’m doing as far as water maintenance. Plus, I do water tests very often and it has always been fine, and wouldn’t the rest of the fish have problems if it was water related? I did have a Chinese algae eater who I recently got rid of, and those are known for sucking on fish, but my other fish don’t show signs of being hurt by the big pleco. Also my fish tank is in my bedroom which I’m in for about 6 hours a day, awake, at varying times of the day with the lights both on and off, so I get a LOT of time to observe their behavior and I assure you that there is no bullying going on.

            • Clementine
              Clementine January 5, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

              Well if you don’t have a good tap water source than yeah, more water changes aren’t ideal. You’re kind of in a tough spot there. In my opinion (though it’s hard to say much without a photo) the bumps are either immune responses to injury or a response to an overloaded tank system. Water testing is not what you go by if the fish isn’t well; the rise and fall of the presence of toxins can make it tricky to get a read. But plecos are famous for flank sucking, all algae eaters are really. They are attracted to the slime coat and sooner or later it happens, maybe not yet for you. If you have an algae problem nerite or apple snails might be of assistance =)

  40. Super_Jelly January 4, 2016 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    One of the ammonia ones, the stronger ones tail color is starting to fade away and become clear. will this improve?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      My advice would be to keep changing the water each day, and reduce feeding as you are doing. Be sure to take out any gravel at the bottom of the tank and clean the filter frequently in old tank water. Sometimes color changes happen as a result of a shock in water quality or change in lighting or environment. Test & change, test & change to be sure there is no more ammonia =)

  41. Emily January 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    How can you tell if a goldfish is male or female

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Males will have white speckles in breeding season on their gill covers & front fin rays. Females may have a lopsided look from above with a larger vent. Sexing goldfish is not easy even if you are a professional =)

  42. Fluffy Panda January 5, 2016 at 5:00 am - Reply

    My fish lays on the bottom of the tank and she breathes only from her gills. Her gills are getting big and are not closing when she breathes. She also does not open her mouth. And she lays on her side and moves not that often.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 5, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Fluffy Panda, I think you might have a case of water poisoning on your hands. Change the water right away would be my advice.

  43. Clare January 5, 2016 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have a 28 litre tank with 4 small fantails in it, have only had for a month or so one of my fish gills on both sides have gone dark red and very small marks on head. Is behaving normal. What could it be? How do I treat?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 5, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Sounds like water poisoning to me, Clare. I’m afraid your tank is far too small for the number of fish you have so the waste is accumulating in the tank. What I would advise is changing the water and getting a bigger tank as soon as you can. Feel free to ask if you have more questions =)

  44. Duckboi January 6, 2016 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I have 2 goldfish. A Comet and a fantail. I got them about a week ago. The comet has a black unclear spot on its tail. This spot has moved by itself and also when we tried to pick it off (we thought it could be a worm). It seems to be under the skin as well. The fish just hangs around in the top corner of the tank for about half of the time. We’re treating the water for high alkaline Ph levels but we’ve only just started doing this. They’re in a 21L tank.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2016 at 3:23 am - Reply

      What exactly is your pH, Duckboi?

  45. Geoffrey January 9, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    One of our goldfish has white spots on it’s mouth do have any idea what the problem could be and how we could treat it?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 4:59 am - Reply

      You might want to upload a photo of that by creating a topic in the health concerns forum, Geoffrey, so I can better see what you are talking about. =)

  46. Jen January 10, 2016 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Hi, at what point do you know it’s time to euthanize? I have a very sick fish, he’s clamped at the bottom with labored breathing and then has “bursts” of movement when he swims and breathes only to go lie back on the bottom. We saw what we feel was an anchor worm on him late last night and even watched a “piece” break off or an egg release, I can say which for sure. Seeing something released, I did a 50% water change and added the only available treatment, API General Cure, last night and removed the filter cartridge. I want to give him a shot and dose 2 of the medicine would be tomorrow but not sure if he’s past the point of no return and I should just euthanize?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 5:02 am - Reply

      That’s always a tough question, Jen, but I go by if the fish eats and how bad it looks… sorry I know that’s vague. But something you might want to make sure of is that your water is in good shape, because what you saw may be an anchor worm but it also could be the slime coat of the fish shedding in response to stress. A shot will do more harm than good if the issue is the fish’s environment, which is the case 99% of the time.

  47. Nancy January 10, 2016 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Hello Clementine,
    My almost six year old goldfish Trish appears to have an infected scale. I noticed at first a scale looked damaged or puffy. Now it seems to have gotten larger, almost like a wart. It is turning a dark gray. Trish is acting normal and happy. She lives alone a 10 gallon tank. Can you give me some advice? THANK YOU!

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 5:03 am - Reply

      That almost sounds like a tumor to me, Nancy, especially if the fish acts fine. There isn’t a whole lot you can do for those.

  48. Nancy January 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Bleak news but thank you.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      The good news is you can typically slow the progress of one by making sure your water quality is good =)

  49. K January 13, 2016 at 1:08 am - Reply

    We have a horrible situation going on. We have a 20 gallon tank that had 5 goldfish in it and a catfish. The goldfish are small and have lived together for awhile – they have enough room and have been quite healthy and happy for a long time. In fact, even with our newest edition, all was well for over a year, then we stupidly added a pleco and he stressed everyone out. We removed him (and put him in another tank) as soon as we saw signs of ick a week ago, but now we’ve lost 2 of our beloved goldfish and the other 3 all look absolutely awful. We’ve had the water tested twice and have used medication for ick and an antibiotic, as well as stress coat and salt. Now we’re just using the antibiotic and the ick medicine. We’ve followed the advice of the experts at the fish store and we have had goldfish ourselves for the past 25 years, so we have experience, but nothing like this. We keep 3 tanks at home, but only this one with goldfish. The filter and set up of the tank is fine, but these fish are dying. All 3 of them are lying on the bottom gasping with ragged fins. 2 of them will come up to eat, but they just look awful. We’ve been doing small water changes as directed by the fish expert, but they don’t seem to be helping. It is horrible to watch them suffering and to be trying to do everything we can but not having any luck healing them.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 13, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

      That’s no good, K! πŸ™ Well if you want my advice, I’d say first-off, do large water changes every day, at LEAST 50%, not small ones, and if you have gravel take it out immediately, and if you have a filter be sure to clean it in tank water thoroughly. Not sure if the catfish is still in there, but if it is I would get him out too. Catfish will grow massive and eventually become aggressive. Your goldfish are likely suffering the effects of a huge ammonia surge, as the tank was so overstocked that the waste built up to intolerable levels. Don’t go by water tests if the fish are not well; ammonia and nitrite surges can come intermittently between testing. Even 3 goldfish in a 20 gallon is more than recommended. Also, don’t feed while this is going on because it will only add to the bioload which is already strained and could tip things over the edge. Hope that helps.

  50. Mitchel January 14, 2016 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I have a problem where my fish are dieing nearly 1 a week its not white spot its not the water iv tested its fine and none of my fish are bullying each other but they still keep dieing and instead of floating up when they die they go to the bottom incase that helps they have none of the other diseases or symtoms iv read above but they just keep dieing and i dont know what to do please help asap

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      How long has your tank been set up, Mitchel?

      • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

        I have been set up for 8 months now

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 15, 2016 at 2:22 am - Reply

          And, how big is the tank? How many fish are you adding at a time? And how often do you change the water/how much? And how much do you feed? And did I ask enough questions ha ha?

          • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 2:28 am - Reply

            Its a 20liter tank i have 6 fish and i never put more than 8 in there so when i put some in its 2 to 3 at a time i make sure they climatise forst for atlest 2 hours i change the water roughly every 4 weeks some times earlyer some times later always making sure i dont have it pristine clean as they need some dirtyness i feed them 2 times a day and i make sure they eat all the food within 2 to 3 mins if they cant i feed slightly less to make sure i dont over feed . And any questions is fine i just need to know what im doing wrong if im doing wrong i hate losing fish πŸ™

          • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 2:35 am - Reply

            Just adding but there only small fish definatly not big ones or medium bigest fish is 4 cm long

            • Clementine
              Clementine January 15, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

              Ohhhhh thanks that sheds more light on the situation. I can tell you what you’re doing wrong…

              First, the tank is undersized for the # of fish you want to keep. Even small fish produce a lot of waste and ammonia via their waste & respiration. That is why no matter how big or small the fish are you still have to give them the recommended room if you don’t want things to go haywire. At least 40liters per fish for fancies.

              As far as how often you are changing the water, definitely not enough goldies. They need weekly 50% minimum water changes, and there is no such thing as too clean of a tank. It’s a myth that they need dirtyness; dirtyness kills them.

              I’m afraid they’re also getting too much food. Please take a look at our feeding article for reference.

              Yeah so hopefully that clears things up. If you follow the guidelines laid out on my site and in the care article I think you will have much more success. πŸ™‚

              • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply

                Ok thanks for your help πŸ™‚ i was feeding them the recomended times a day i was told by my local pet stores did some looking into them befor buying and everyone said 2 times a day but thanks for clearing that up and question then if they need 40l then why do they sell anything smaller?

                • Clementine
                  Clementine January 15, 2016 at 5:15 am - Reply

                  Sure! Hmm, why do they sell any smaller? Well, they sell. Someone deciding for the first time might want a cheap option. The bigger the tanks get (typically) the less wiling people are to buy them due to money/space constraints. But, taking proper care of a pet means they may have to get over that lol. And I think for two, chain pet stores really have no clue about a lot of aspects of goldfish keeping. They’re business experts, not animal experts.

                  • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 6:06 am - Reply

                    Thanks for all the help iv just rushed out and baught a bigger tank to suit them πŸ™‚ nother question how oftern would u recoment feeding your fish peas and letus ?

                  • Mitchel January 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

                    How do u recomend water changes in warm water fish ?

                    • Clementine
                      Clementine January 16, 2016 at 2:23 am

                      Awesome, they will appreciate it =) Um I don’t ever recommend feeding peas really. Not a good choice because they are so messy and high protein. But the lettuce, they should have access to that 24/7. Can’t ever get enough of it πŸ˜‰ For warm water fish, do you mean tropicals? I am by no means an expert in that sorry to say ha ha.

                  • Mitchel January 16, 2016 at 5:43 am - Reply

                    Yes tropical fish where i live we have warm water cood water and tropical but i did some research and found out about warm/tropical changes and i think i will be fine thanks for all your help ??

  51. kim January 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    hey, Clementine;

    thought I’d pop on and thank you for all your help.

    My big girl left us on tues morning!

    We did that full tank/filter cleaning and the full water change as I said we were. an I have been doing daily water changes and all that stuff, our tank water is perfict now as it normally is. all the fish are happy and normal.

    big girl seemed to due better and the spot on her side never got worse and for the most part looked better, but yet never got better. she never did start eating again, she moved around and stuff like she was fine, but at feeding time would just go hide head down in the back corner and come back out after about 5mins or so, when feeding time was done. then finally sometime over night on Mon she finally got to her weekest point and stopped being able to keep herself upright. When I noticed her belly up at top of the tank struggling to move, it was clear she was near the end, she was prob in that situation for hours, before I noticed her. I held her cupped in my hand best I could for awhile, bt you could tell she was having trouble breathing. it was kind of a rasph squeeky sound, like she had fluid buildup or something, she struggled with every breath.

    She dyed cupped in my hand after about 1/2 and hour or so. once I found her I didn’t want to leave her to go by her self. It was a bit hard and awkard as she just barely fitting in my hand, but she seemed calmer in my hand. I didn’t want her to go all stressed out and struggling in the tank all upside down and the current banging her into stuff, with the other fish picking at her.

    I feel bad for my corydora though as big girl and cory were pals and were always playing chase and cory used to groom big girl and they slept side by side, it was cute that they kind of had a friendship of some sort. being 2 different types of fish and all. but they did all the same. Now cory is going all nuts in the tank she keeps breaching to the top of the tank and she is at the glass swimming and squiggling back in forth all crazy like and swimming laps like she is looking for something. I guess she is missing her buddy.

    I know how she feels I’m missing my buddy as well!

    any way, thank you for your advise and help.


    • Clementine
      Clementine January 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      Sorry for your loss Kim πŸ™ It’s hard when they don’t make it.

  52. Annie January 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm - Reply


    I have an almost 3 year old petstore goldfish. He is quite small, maybe 2 inches long, as he is kept in a small tank (I clean it frequently but my parents don’t let me get anything else). Today I noticed that there are 2 red bumps, one on the back fin and one on the front of the tail. Each is about a 1/4 inch tall. I am not positive but I think that there may be a small tear in his tail as well. Part of his tail appears a bit more red than normal.. it may just be the coloring but it may be blood?

    Swimmy is acting completely normal.

    From researching and reading articles on this site, I am hoping it is just Carp Pox, but I am worried it is a tumor.. what do you think?
    I would love to do anything possible to treat it. The reason I am not sure if it’s a tumor is it doesn’t look like a gash, more like a little wart. Also, I was thinking I could try and salt my tank. I have never done that before.. I use normal tap water with a chemical from the pet store to make it fish-safe. Will my gold fish be safe in salted water? What kind of salt, and how much?

    Thanks for the help.
    If there is any way I can attach a photo, please let me know.



    • Clementine
      Clementine January 16, 2016 at 2:30 am - Reply

      If it looks like a wart, likely that is a tumor. Carp Pox not very common. I would not try salt if it were me… I would go for trying to keep the water quality better by doing lots of water changes so the bumps don’t get worse because bad water is a cause of tumors. You are more than welcome to upload a photo in the forums =)

  53. ACR601 January 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much! I have 2 more questions:
    1) You mentioned to do lots of water changes. How constant should I change the water?
    2) On further inspection, I think Swimmy has fin rot.. the tip of his tail is a lighter color and it is splitting. I saw you mentioned a swab and baking soda. I have never swabbed Swimmy before, and am worried about hurting him? Also, do you just put the baking soda straight into the water?

    Thank you,


    • Clementine
      Clementine January 18, 2016 at 11:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Annie, sorry it took me a while to answer you. I moved hosts on my site so things were a bit crazy for a bit!

      1) Every day if possible, and the more the better, as long as your water is from a good source.
      2) If your water quality isn’t 100% perfect, don’t add anything or swab anything as goldfish can heal on their own most of the time as long as the water quality is good.

      You’re welcome πŸ™‚

  54. Sara January 21, 2016 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Hello , my goldfish isnt eating for 4 days now & I just noticed small circle of redness close to its tail , what should I do ?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 21, 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply

      If it were me I would change the water, and cut back on feeding because overfeeding can lead to a lot of issues with water quality. You may also want to check out our article about that.

  55. Jess V January 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Clementine,
    I have one comet goldfish who is about 3-inch and one shubunkin goldfish who is maybe 2-inch in a 10 gallon tank (I know this is too small but we plan to move them to a 20 gallon when we can and I do water changes almost daily until we can get a bigger tank). We recently had a bully fish that stressed my goldfish out by chasing them during the night but he was quickly removed from the tank. Before this they had been treated for ich (a couple months ago) and then fin rot with melafix and Pimafix and those issues seem to have stopped. What I can’t figure out though is why my comet is losing scales on one side of his body (about 1 per day) last night I caught him rubbing on gravel and the shubunkin has a small tear in his tail that won’t heal. Besides this they have been acting normal happy as usual and their water tests always come back nearly perfect. Help please these are my babies and I can’t figure out what is going on :c

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 31, 2016 at 4:52 am - Reply

      Hi Jessica! πŸ™‚ How much water do you change at a time, and how often do you clean the filter? Also, do you have gravel, and what is your feeding schedule like? In that size of a tank (which you are right for planning to get a bigger one) keeping things under control is going to be a challenge…

  56. Debbie January 31, 2016 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Hi there.
    My son has had his 2 goldfish for 3 years now and they have never had any problems but today we noticed that one (Edward) has developed a very sore looking red eye on one side. It also looks like there is a skin covering it… He appears to be fine otherwise but we are concerned about him just the same. Could it be that he has injured it on one of the tank Decor or do u think it could be something more?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 31, 2016 at 4:54 am - Reply

      It is possibly a reaction to bad water, or a secondary bacteria infection, Debbie. I would lean towards thinking it is not an injury. Those kinds of symptoms are more of an issue if something is not right with the tank itself.

  57. Megan January 31, 2016 at 5:03 am - Reply

    So I have 3 fish in a 10 gallon tank, I know that’s a bit too much but I make sure to do regular water and filter changes and watch their behavior often. So one fish a couple weeks back starts getting black spots and after some research I think it’s ammonia burn. I am disappointed in my bad tank keep up but I do more frequent changed and remove old food and all of that. More spots. I keep doing research and I feel it can’t be my tank conditions. This is one of three who is at all acting strange and he is looking rough. He lays at the bottom a lot and today I even saw him on his side. I’m afraid the end is coming but I really don’t want to give up. Please help

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 31, 2016 at 5:08 am - Reply

      Don’t give up! πŸ™‚ How often are you changing the water, Megan? And it is also possible your feeding schedule might be playing into things.

      • Megan January 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm - Reply

        He is looking really bad. On his side and won’t get up for food. I have had him a year and haven’t changed anything. I try to do a majority water change each month but little ones in between that. I also try to feed them pees occasionally, recently I was out of pees so they didn’t get them. Would this cause it?

  58. Jess V January 31, 2016 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for replying! I do about 20% water changes daily, my goldfish get fed flakes in the morning but only a tiny bit because they are pigs haha, they also get 2 crushed and shelled peas 2 days a week as an alternate to flakes. Right now I clean their filter about once every week. I have gravel in with them and I do have a gravel vacuum, I was thinking of using that to do the water changes as well instead of scooping the water out. The 10gal tank is pretty new so the gravel is still very clean, we would like to get a 20gal we just need to make more space.

  59. Jess V January 31, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Also I talked to a local petstore today and they recommended giving them API stresscoat plus I gave them this today and it seems to have reduced the flashing a tiny bit already. Also my fish get a small dose of marineland aquarium bacteria everytime I do a water change

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 31, 2016 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      If you haven’t been using the siphon to vacuum the gravel, chances are you have a large amount of decaying food and waste in there that is continually being released into the tank. My advice would be to remove the gravel completely because it is a problem-causer most of the time.

  60. Sally January 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Hi have got a goldfish who has got a Gill tumour. I’ve read that iodine medicated water could help but how much do I add to the water? Want to help the little guy if possible. He eating normally but is swimming tilted to one side. Thanks

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 31, 2016 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      Tincture of iodine is used as an isolated treatment for disinfecting, but I don’t think it will be of much help for tumors as tumors are not infection. Clean water is really the only thing you can do, to stop the progress.

  61. Megan January 31, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Also, is it safe to do a water change with him so sick? I don’t want to stress him out but it is time.

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 1, 2016 at 12:04 am - Reply

      Peas aren’t really the best choice for goldfish food anyway. In fact they contribute to problems more than they solve any, in my opinion. Without weekly water changes, that is probably the reason your fish isn’t doing well. If you don’t do them now he will likely not make it, just be sure to not move him out of the tank because moving the fish can stress him out.

      • Megan February 1, 2016 at 4:03 am - Reply

        I believe he is gone. His breathing was incredibly slow and now there is no signs of breathing. I was told peas were good for a once in a while feeding to help with nutrients but I will end that. Is there a way to tell what went wrong? I feel horrible that I was unable to figure it out. Thanks for the help.

        • Clementine
          Clementine February 1, 2016 at 4:44 am - Reply

          Sorry to hear that πŸ™ I believe it has to do with your setup, feeding and maintenance schedule. You are right that the tank is undersized; for 3 fish in a 10 gallon, you would have to be doing water changes at least every other day to keep the ammonia at bay. If you are removing old food that means there are leftovers, and if there are leftovers that means you are overfeeding as well. That will add to the ammonia output which is already greater than the water volume permits. I’d highly recommend taking a look at our feeding article, and upgrading to a size of at least 20 gallons, and then you will be able to cut back the water changes to once weekly if you do at least 50% at a time. Not sure if you have gravel, but having a substrate is usually also a source of problems.

  62. Jess V February 1, 2016 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Should I give them sand instead or just give them new gravel?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 1, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Bare bottom is what I recommend.

  63. Jess V February 1, 2016 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Ok thank you! I will try that. One more question, what kind of food would you recommend, I have heard many different views on pellets and flakes and am not sure what would be best

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Pellets are what I recommend πŸ™‚ If you haven’t already I would really advise checking out our feeding article.

  64. Kat February 1, 2016 at 9:24 am - Reply

    My goldfish has one eye, and has developed black scabs and lost scales.
    any ideas?
    He has white salt like grains on his tail and dorsal, I gave him multicore for a while, but it didn\’t go away, and then he developed the black scabs.
    I keep getting different advice, don\’t change the water, change the water, don\’t remove the snail, remove the snail, remove the decorations, don\’t remove decorations, don\’t keep multi curing, don\’t use algae control, the tap conditioner has caused burns.
    He seems happy, he eats well, he is a bit of a bully, but that\’s ok he is about 4 x bigger than the others, and he is my main priority.
    He was in a smaller tank until yesterday.
    I have a pineapple decoration that has pointed bits on top. (sponge bob\’s house)
    There are 3 decorations, gravel, a lot of other fish (probably to many) and 2 filters, one that makes bubbles. and a snail, oh and a PH oxy shell.
    The other fish include, 2 black widows, 4 other small gold fish, a zebra danio, and another little one,(yellow with a black dot on his tail)
    I don\’t know what\’s wrong with him but the more I research the more problems he seems to have.
    Like black smudge, ammonia/ ph burns, white spot or ich.
    sometimes he swims tilted to one side, I thought that might be because of he\’s vision, but that can also be a symptom of swimmer bladder.
    Does he have 4 separate issues? or could it be that because of his poor vision he has knocked off his own scales and caused the black scabs?

    • Kat February 1, 2016 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Just an FYI I don\’t actually know if One eye is male, we just call him, him.

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 2, 2016 at 2:34 am - Reply

      It sounds like all one problem to me, Kat – poor water quality, especially if you are seeing black smudges. Exactly how big is the tank? That could definitely be a factor, along with how often you are changing the water and how much at at time.

  65. Nat February 1, 2016 at 10:00 am - Reply

    So I add a medicine to the fish tank because my fish have this problem .so my question is that should the medicines meant to be blue

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 2, 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply

      If you are using methylene blue, yes… but why are you using it?

  66. Claudia February 2, 2016 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Okay here it goes….

    I had five fish in my 20 gallon tank, four gold fish two of which were white, and an algae eater. They were fine until the last week. Now I did loose four goldfish earlier, due to poor health conditions from the store I got them from but the tank has been throughly cleaned since then.
    This past month was when it all started. Miles, the algae eater began to act strange by swimming up near the top of the tank before he passed on. Next came Billy, one of the smaller gold colored goldfish. He hung out around the bottom and hide under the rock most of the time before he hid in the corner where he lay on the rocks. He never floated when he died. He just lay there on the bottom of the tank until I had to remove him. Up next for the flusher was De Logo, which meant from the lake in Spanish. He was swimming happily when I when to spend the night which my aunt, but when I came home my mom and brother told me he was sick. When I checked on him he was dead, with a white mucus sort of film on his gills and mouth. Sort of like when a human gets the cold. So I started to watch the other two, and yesterday morning found the larger white one, Sammy, dead. He too had the white film on his gills and mouth. Now I have one left, Tiny Fish Tim. He has been moved from the big tank into a small tank that I have cleaned daily. I have a bubbler hooked up to it as well and I feed him accordingly.
    So back to the larger tank. It has gotten really cloudy in the last week. Like can’t see the bottom cloudy. This is not normal seeing that I have a filter in it all the time and try not to over feed them. I have not had time to clean it yet but I just cleaned it last Saturday! The temp runs about 68 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time, and non of the tanks around it have anything like this going on and I cleaned them at the same time. I use the same water for each, the only difference is that the other fish are bettas not goldfish. I have not put anything new in the tank, such as rocks and decorations.
    Is there any thing you can tell me that might save my last little goldfish?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 2, 2016 at 2:51 am - Reply

      That’s quite a situation, Claudia! How much do you normally change of the water and filter, and how often? I think your fish have suffered from overcrowding and water poisoning (and likely overfeeding, but you would have to confirm that from our feeding article which I highly recommend reading). What you will need to do is change the water every day and clean the filter every day until things even out and the system balances.

      • Claudia February 2, 2016 at 3:15 am - Reply

        Alright. I clean the tank almost every weekend and the filter as well. I feed my goldfish about every other day and not that much because they did not seem to come up and eat. The other thing that worries me is that this has happened to a ten gallon tank that I only had one fish in and it was in the same spot that this new tank is in. Could it have anything to do with location?

        • Clementine
          Clementine February 2, 2016 at 3:22 am - Reply

          Nah, it wouldn’t be the location to cause those symptoms. Most people actually don’t realize they are overfeeding, which is why it’s important to have a frame of reference. If you have a substrate be sure to get rid of that too.

          • Claudia February 2, 2016 at 3:37 am - Reply

            Could it be ich? Most of the fish that died where the most healthy of the bunch as well. De Lago was the biggest and most active where Tiny Fish Tim is small and he is always at the bottom even now in his new tank he hides at the bottom. And he does not eat any more.

            • Claudia February 2, 2016 at 3:55 am - Reply

              Well I feel stupid. It’s a 30 gallon tank not a 20 we had a 20 gallon.

              • Clementine
                Clementine February 2, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

                Probably not ich, probably water quality. If the fish doesn’t eat don’t feed.

  67. Alexis February 3, 2016 at 3:33 am - Reply

    My koi-fish seems to look like its bleeding. It’s dorsal and caudal fin has a dark-red tint to while the back-half of the fish looks,’ bloody ‘. I’ve searched tons of websites in a fast matter as soon as I noticed! Is there something wrong?! (( If you need anymore details I’ll gladly give you more. ))

    P.S The koi-fish is orange (( with a hint of red )) spotted.

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 3, 2016 at 5:21 am - Reply

      That’s often a sign of high ammonia or nitrite levels, Alexis. You will need to change the water right away and evaluate your tank setup.

  68. Jess V February 3, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

    How would you tell if your goldfish has flukes?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 3, 2016 at 5:24 am - Reply

      You would have to perform a gill scrape and analyze it with a microscope.

  69. Eileen February 3, 2016 at 7:10 am - Reply

    I’ve been reading the comments and I think I have an ammonia problem. I had 4 goldfish in a small fountain out back all summer and had to bring in when weather started changing because the fish weren’t doing so good and the water was getting difficult to keep clean and flowing. With new tank I quickly realized a 5 gallon was too small for 4 fish. After two months I added them into a larger 23 gallon biocube. I didn’t do any waiting period besides a day of making sure water was good. After that it took about 3 weeks before water went cloudy and has been going downhill ever since. Last night one of the goldfish died. The others had a cloudy color to them and swim back and forth eradically while opening and closing their mouths. I went and bought all these different types of chemicals because my water always tests hard and to much ph. Nothing has worked. Today after reading all these comments I think I made a huge mistake of not cleaning out the tank every week…? I’m trying to do this right but some people at pet store told me I didn’t have to do water changes and others say a little bit every once in a while. I’m thinking I need to do half the tank for the next few days. What do you suggest? P.s. It also got a bunch of algae in it which is mostly gone now after I did a half tank water change 3 days ago. Now it’s still very cloudy. Also the last 3 goldfish are possibly 4″ at the most. Help please?!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Pet store people typically give water change advice for tropical fish… the majority don’t understand that goldfish are a lot different ha ha. For the next few days I’d definitely do 50% water changes every day, and only worry about the pH if it is too soft. Goldfish prefer hard water, and trying to change it can stress them out.

  70. wendy February 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Hi ive got a goldfish in a 30lr biorb ive noticed a few white spots on its tail, its very active can tou gelp me? thanks

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      That may or not be ich, which is pretty common in pet stores. Please take a look at our article on it and compare symptoms. πŸ™‚

  71. Gail February 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I have 2 fish, 1 large fancy goldfish and one algae eater. They are in a 30 gallon tank. My goldfish has white spots only on his fins and some bumps on his dorsal fin. We have done the ich treatment as well as treating him for bacterial infection. They are still there, not spreading but not getting better either. I sent an image to an expert and he said it is not ich, but didn’t give me anything on what it might be. Any ideas?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      White spots are an immune response, Gail, and could be a sign that your algae eater is inflicting small injuries on your goldfish which is not uncommon. I would highly suggest separating them as they cause problems with aggression sooner or later… they like to suck on their tasty slime coat.

  72. Stuart February 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    My goldfish, despite changing water and filter recently, is listless at the bottom of the tank and is moving very little indeed. He’s seven years old and has been happy on his own in a nice big tank. I’ve given him a couple days without food and then some shelled peas but he hasn’t improved. Any ideas?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 14, 2016 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      My first thought would be, what does your water test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? If waste has accumulated over time than one water change would not be enough to solve the issue…

  73. Sandi February 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Hi there,

    A week ago, my white panda goldfish got stuck in a shell and only noticed a day later. I managed to get her out but she was very dizzy, upside down, on her side, and her buoyancy was terrible. I just assumed it was swim bladder and so I started feeding her some frozen peas (skin off, boiled) and started swim bladder treatment about 5 days ago. She soon started to recover – her energy levels were up and her buoyancy improved.

    However a week later, I am noticing that her scales are red..on one side… almost like a rash and her fins are fraying – she used to have a beautiful dorsal fin and now there is very little left. Also… she looks very skinny and losing appetite.

    How can I save her?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 15, 2016 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Hi Sandi, did you try testing the water? Also, how large is the tank and how many fish are in it?

  74. Sandi February 15, 2016 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Yes I did I brought a sample to my local store and all is good ! Two baby fish (including the sick one) in 15l tank. She was doing so great before the incident with the shell ! Seriously the most energetic and friendly fish – they were the best of friends

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 15, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      I think your tank size is causing issues. For 2 goldies you should have at least 75 liters, otherwise there is too much instability in the system. The shell incident might have caused further stress on her already weakened immune system.

  75. Cynthia February 17, 2016 at 8:36 am - Reply

    40 gallon breeder with 5 fancy goldfish ( medium in size) Under gravel filter with 2 power heads, 2 canister filters, fed Repashy gel food. Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates about 80 but drops a little after water change. Tap is at 20 nitrates. Minimum 50% water change twice weekly. Crystal clear water. One of the Orandas started showing a black speck above each eye. It has since turned into a dark colored eyebrow going deeper into the wen. Fish still eats, swims and has fins erect. If it wasn’t for the crevice in the wen, you would never know there was a problem with him. What do you think this could be?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 18, 2016 at 5:07 am - Reply

      Do you mean, is there an indentation in the wen? Or is the blackish colour just spreading onto it?

  76. Cynthia February 18, 2016 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Into the wen. DEEP. Started Furan 2. LFS says its not hole in the head

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 19, 2016 at 5:15 am - Reply

      You might try uploading some photos to a topic in the health concerns forum. I think I need to see this one.

  77. Osborne February 20, 2016 at 3:58 am - Reply

    I have a three black moor fancy goldfish in a 30 gallon tank. Two Butterfly tails and one ribbon tail… My ribbon tail’s lips is cloudy…. but not cotton like. I don’t seem to see any cause of this because I change my water 70% everyday because I didn’t cycle the water, but I always ensure that my water is crystal clear and always 0% Ammonia, etc. Please help me determine this or guide me on how to remove this cloudy lips of him because I’m a little bit worried that this might be a symptom of mouth rot or mouth fungi… Thanks in advance.

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 20, 2016 at 5:05 am - Reply

      Has it always been like that, Osborne? It’s possibly natural lack of pigment on that area…

  78. Osborne February 20, 2016 at 6:35 am - Reply

    It happened this morning… How do I turn it back to normal?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 21, 2016 at 1:50 am - Reply

      I would just keep an eye on it. You sound like you are taking good care of your tank so most likely it is demelanization.

  79. Polina February 28, 2016 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    the brain of my goldfish is like popping out from the head HELP ! PLEASE

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 1, 2016 at 4:56 am - Reply

      Yikes! You might want to post a photo of that to a topic in the health concerns forum. I think I’ll need to see it to tell what is going on.

  80. Koreen March 2, 2016 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Help! I saw a hair strand like worm in my tank… And I think it’s hidden under my gravels. Its swims like a snake and kinda freaks me out. Please help, because I don’t know if it’s dangerous for my goldfish and how do I remove it.

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 2, 2016 at 5:13 am - Reply

      Sounds like planarian worms, a sign of a dirty tank. Take out the gravel and clean the tank more and they should go away.

      • Koreen March 2, 2016 at 6:46 am - Reply

        Oh thank you so much! Your site is very helpful in fact, by following your instructions, my goldfishes are now living in years! So thank you so much πŸ˜€

  81. Aaron March 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I just bought a twenty gallon tank for my three goldfish and just this morning I introduced them into it. As I did so I realized that two of them had an irritated looking red spot on their heads, one of the two having some white looking substance covering the area. I previously was keeping them in a large pot since my old tank cracked. They were in the pot for for four days and it had gotten quite dirty but I thought it would be fine since they wouldn’t be in there for too long. Looking at them now they seem quite lively and don’t look sick at all. Should the spots just go away over time?

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 7, 2016 at 2:10 am - Reply

      They should, as long as you keep the water in your 20 gallon very clean.

  82. Saira March 11, 2016 at 1:20 am - Reply

    Hiya. We cycled tank before we got two gold fish in 10 gal tank. A week after they introduced to tank I noticed a white mark on the white fishes tail. Kept an eye on it everyday, a week later more marks have appeared on the same fishes tail and now dorsal fin. I can’t see any on body, and it doesn’t look like ‘salt’ so I don’t think its ICH? Or fluffy or anything like that? I think the edges look a little bit frayed, not sure tho as its hard to tell with white fins. Other fish seems fine. No flashing. No gasping. Water quality is fine, ammonia is slighter above zero. But no nitrite. Any ideas? Help I’m worried :S thanks

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 11, 2016 at 4:51 am - Reply

      If your ammonia is above 0, that is definitely the problem.

  83. Maria March 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Please help!
    I got a 15 gallon tank from a friend who was moving on Monday set it up and added a Black Moore Goldfish Tuesday night. Wednesday morning the water was cloudy and now the fish has white stuff all over. Its not patches of white stuff almost looks like slime. From what I was reading I’m thinking it might be a Fungus and or Fin rot? He is swimming just fine he ate this morning. I got my water tested after I did a water change(not sure if that was a good idea) they said everything was fine. I got the aquarium salt. How long will it be till he gets better and how often should I be doing water change? what could have caused this? I don’t know what to do about the cloudy water I don’t want to add too many chemicals. Worried he might die. Any advice would be great! Thank you!

    • Maria March 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Could I have not cleaned the tank well enough to where it made the fish sick? was he too stressed out from the store to our home?

      • Clementine
        Clementine March 17, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

        It’s possible, but likely the water is the problem.

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 17, 2016 at 4:12 am - Reply

      Probably new tank syndrome, if you just set it up recently. Cloudy water is a big indicator of that too. Testing the water after the water change can lead to skewed results as far as understanding what your parameters are normally… my advice is to keep changing the water as often as you can until the tank is cycled, which will take several weeks for your filter to mature.

  84. Joshua March 20, 2016 at 3:15 am - Reply

    Hello πŸ™‚ … One of my black moor’s scales is terribly knocked off… will it come back to normal? Do I have to medicate the tank? I’m worried that it might infect

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 20, 2016 at 3:48 am - Reply

      Hi Joshua πŸ˜€ Missing scales are a sign that the fish is scratching on things in the tank, irritated by the water usually. The scales will grow back but only if the root issue is corrected. Medication might tip your fish over the edge.

  85. Maddie March 22, 2016 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Hello my fish had a white pimple like bump on the side of it’s belly.. I think this is a tumor. ): I have a calico fantail and one that looks exactly like your profile picture clementine, that is the one that has been infected. I noticed it yesterday and it is about the size of a normal pimple you would get on your face. But when i came home yesterday i noticed that it has gotten worse. I asked my fish expert friend and she told be my fish has about a month ): I cant believe it!! All of the water conditions are normal and he seems to be happy! I have had them for about 6 months and i was just ordering a bigger 20 gallon tank for them! Please help what should i do??????

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 22, 2016 at 3:48 am - Reply

      Hey Maddie, what exactly are your water conditions like? Did you test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? I would definitely change the water either way.

  86. Venessa March 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Whats wrong with my fish if their tails looks like it breaks off and then just 2 days they die?

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      It depends on a lot of things, Venessa, but chances are high ammonia levels caused that.

  87. Will March 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    My goldfish, Rocky, has stringy white trails attached to his to his tail fin, weird white cottony spots all over his body, and he also floats to the top of the water and just sits there, I have heated up the tank, added some salt, even given him a salt bath, but he still is not better! Is there anything else I can do?

  88. Will March 27, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    It also seems that poor Rocky has given up all will to live, he just floats there and breaths, not really moving πŸ™

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Have you tested the water? It could be there is something very amiss.

  89. JOHNNY B April 1, 2016 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Hi this page is very informative, thanks so much! I have a question though… I have a fantail goldfish with what looks a lot like a whitehead pimple on his head. It started out as a small dark tiny dot under the skin which I noticed about 2 weeks ago. In the past two days it has raised slightly and is ejecting white (puss? not sure) looking exactly like a human whitehead pimple. He is a mature male in a well cycled 40 gal breeder w 2 small ryukins (not sure of their sex yet) Water params are 0ppm ammonia 0ppm nitrite 5-10 ppm nitrate. Weekly water changes 50 percent or better w vacuuming the sand, and actually cleaning the poops out daily. Is it wen growth even though not oranda or lionhead? Is it breeding stars developing?Tumor? Thanks in advance for any help you can give πŸ™‚

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 2, 2016 at 3:52 am - Reply

      Sure thing πŸ™‚ If you have a fantail, it isn’t wen growth. From your description it sounds like a skin infection or immune response of some kind. This is typically an indication that something isn’t right in the tank. Could be the filtration needs cleaning, could be more water changes are needed, could be from bad bacteria in the sand. No matter what the fish would benefit from larger, more frequent water changes until it clears up. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

      • JOHNNY B April 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

        Thank you! I think your right about a skin infection as I wiped gently with a q tip and the white stuff was puss that came right off leaving a small raised bump and I can still see the black spot under the skin. Did a 60% percent water change last night and we are adding some salt and being vigilant about water changes. Btw the sand is not deep at all (about 3/4 inch) because of the risk of bacteria. The filters are pretty new as well. Thanks for your help and I can keep you posted if you want πŸ™‚

        • JOHNNY B April 4, 2016 at 3:27 pm - Reply

          Hi Clementine, I wanted to give an update on the “pimple” situation, lol. We added 1/2 tsp salt per gallon and changed the water 65% This worked wonders! Immediately the lump went down and after 2 days is gone. There is still a tiny bit of white left but it is almost gone. I just wanted to document this because I researched online for quite some time and couldn’t find this exact problem. Thanks again for the help! I am so glad we didn’t medicate him. I am changing the water today and tomorrow so we can reintroduce our snails (They are not very happy in the bucket right now)
          I did have to learn a hard lesson through this though. I was trying to scoop poor Emerson with a net (he is super fast) and got his front spike of the dorsal fin caught in the seam. He was freaking out and the tip of his spike actually broke. I am devastated about this. Needless to say…. NO MORE NETS!!! Do you think that will heal back?? Thanks again πŸ™‚

          • Clementine
            Clementine April 6, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

            Good to hear! Usually if it is the leading ray of the dorsal bone itself, it won’t grow back sorry to say.

  90. Kate April 2, 2016 at 3:52 am - Reply

    I’ve had 4 small swordtail fish in a 10 gallon tank for 5 months. They had done really great, even faring two relocations. I do 25% water change once a week, wipe down any algae on the glass, clean the filter, etc. They were doing fine up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago when my smallest one started acting strange. She’s gotten kind of grey on the top, she was breathing faster and showing a small red spot on the lungs. I feared I had ammonia poisoning so I got my water tested at this really nice pet store nearby. They said all my levels were perfect (no ammonia) except the tap water I was using had a GH of 0-1 and live bearers like 6-15. So i’ve been adding some equilibrium something or other to the water since then to raise the hardness. My other fish are still fine but she has just gone down hill. Taken to sitting on the bottom of the tank, not eating, breathing really fast. Today I noticed a red spot on her side by her fin and a red spot at about her chin. Her eyes seemed a bit cloudy. She can’t really swim any more and is just laying and breathing and I’m assuming will die soon. I want to know what happened to her so that I can prevent it from happening to my other fish! Did she have some disease that they might have caught? Any ideas greatly appreciated!

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 2, 2016 at 4:00 am - Reply

      Hmm, to be honest I’m no expert in regards to swordfish, Kate, but it does sound like some kind of irritation from the water to me. I would change the water more often and try to keep things as clean as you can and see how that goes, as well as test the GH regularly in the tap and in the tank.

  91. Cindy April 3, 2016 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I have 2 pictures of my girls goldfish that is not acting right. Is there a way to send them to you? Thanks!

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 4, 2016 at 4:22 am - Reply

      You can upload them to a topic in the forum and I’ll be happy to take a look πŸ™‚

  92. Lara April 4, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I am concerned about my small fantail Merry- the lower section of one of his tail fins in not opening to its fully extent. His level of activity has also dropped too (at the bottom more), though not drastically. No other signs of disease. It does not appear to be anything serious at the moment, but I want to heal him quickly. Things that might help you diagnose:
    — I have had Merry for about 3 months- he is only about 4cm long.
    –Merry shares a tank with a small Oranda goldfish since a month ago. Both get along well and the Oranda is perfectly healthy
    –Tank is approx. 90L. Plan to upgrade the tank when they get bigger
    –I do 30% water changes once a week when I clean the tank. I clean the tank with a Siphon to remove the fishpoop from the small layer of gravel at the bottom of the tank
    –Last time I cleaned my tank I also cleaned my filter for the first time in 3 months. .I did not touch the charcoal but i squeezed the gunk out of the sponge and scrubbed down the algae on the filters sides.
    –I tested the nitrate, nitrite, pH and anomia levels- the pH was a litter low (so I raised it), and the anomia was only slightly higher then usual, so I did another 30% water change.

    I would be grateful for any advice!


    • Clementine
      Clementine April 4, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

      My advice would be to remove the gravel and do a large water change – 90% – right away today and each day following, cleaning the filter with each water change. 30% weekly is probably not going to cut it, and your filter’s charcoal is probably long dead. It only lasts about a week. The gunk is highly toxic though, so you want to clean that out with every water change.

  93. Justin April 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    I have a 40 gallon tank setup with 85 gallons worth of filters, with a bottom feeder I just introduced, and 6 goldfish that are between 2 and 3 years old that I’ve had for a while. One of the older ones was white with orange patterns and over a couple months the orange colors have faded and it turned completely white, it’s behavior didn’t seem to have changed though. But now it looks like it’s right iris is misshapen and the eye has become cloudy. Also it seems to be swimming a bit frantically and nother swimming around as much as usual. None of the fish show signs of aggressive behavior towards each other. I havent tested the water, I need to pick up a kit for that.

  94. Justin April 5, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

    I did a 25% water change last night, and am going to test the water later today.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 7, 2016 at 4:18 am - Reply

      Let me know the results!

  95. Ali April 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Hi clementine. Tnx for your useful articles.
    One of my fantails is always swimming at the top of the bowl despite an air pump in the bowl. Also i think she has gotten fin rot. Her tail was white and now it is getting smaller.i almost change their water everyday. Sometimes she flashes away and her mouth shakes rapidly!
    Pls tell me what should i do πŸ™

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 8, 2016 at 4:58 am - Reply

      Can you get a larger tank? Bowls just aren’t suitable homes for goldfish, but for now you can try removing any stones or gravel you might have at the bottom and continue to clean it daily.

  96. Lindsey April 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Treat tank or continue with extra water changes? I recently purchased an Oranda from Petsmart. She has some issues and I want to make sure I’m giving her the best start possible in her new home. She is in a 55gallon cycled aquarium with a liohead purchased at the same time. I have a Marineland 200 and an Aquaclear 110 HOB filters. Ammonia is 0, Nitrites 0, PH 7.6, Nitrates 5ppm. The very tips of her fins have a white edging and are a little blood streaked above the white edging with what looks like a few teeny tiny longer strings of fin coming of where its white. She also has a 3 whitish spots on her fins that look like small pimples. I treated the tank for 3 days with Melafix after bringing them home. Do I continue to just keep the tank nice and clean or should I try a salt treatment, or another kind of medication? I honestly can’t tell if shes getting better or worse.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 8, 2016 at 5:00 am - Reply

      I would first analyze the setup before any kind of treatment. What is your water change schedule and feeding like, do you have a substrate and how often are you cleaning the filters?