40+ Goldfish Disease Symptoms: The Complete List

You’ve probably figured out that your goldfish isn’t its normal self…

And that can be really upsetting.

As this guy noted:



But what is wrong with your fish?

Well you’ve come to the right place because I’ve put together a complete list of symptoms.

Some are common.

Some are not so common.

But they’re all here.

WAIT! Before you read any further:

Don’t assume that your goldfish has a disease once you find your fish’s symptom here.

Most of the time “sickness” is actually caused by poor tank conditions… which is why you should always test the water first when you suspect a problem.  You can use a simple test kit like this one to test all of the major parameters: pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Ammonia and nitrite should always read 0ppm. More than that, and your fish will start getting sick.

High nitrates (over 30ppm) can also cause issues as well.

What makes this article unique is that I’m not going to try to sell you any medications because most of the time they do more harm than good.

The key is to get to the root of the problem.

So without further ado… let’s dive right in!

Behavioral Symptoms

1. Gasping at the surface of the water (gulping air): Gasping goldfish may hang at the surface of the water, appearing to “drink” the air. They also may suddenly dart up to the surface, take a quick gulp, then continue swimming. Gasping is an indication that something is not right in the tank – usually the water quality. It may be that there is insufficient water agitation or tank space to provide enough oxygen for the goldfish to breathe, but most likely the nitrite, ammonia or ph level is out of whack. Goldfish may also gasp at the surface when damage is done to the gills by store bought medications or parasitic infestation.



2. Acting lethargic: Healthy goldfish are perky and move around most of the time – foraging around the bottom of the tank for food and exploring almost constantly. When a goldfish seems weak, sad, uninterested or droopy, it is not well. Lethargic goldfish may sit on the bottom of the tank or hang listlessly at the surface of the water. They show little concern when other goldfish start to nibble at them and generally seem depressed. If your goldfish seems lethargic or sickly, check the water. A pH crash or other irregular parameter change is probably occurring.

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3. Jumping out of the tank: Sometimes incorrectly called “goldfish suicide,” goldfish jumping out of the tank is actually the goldfish’s way of trying to relieve the discomfort caused by poor water quality or parasites. Prior to jumping, many goldfish display erratic behavior by darting around frantically in the tank, scratching on objects or twitching spasmodically. In all of their wild antics, the goldfish sometimes end up on the floor. But water quality or disease may not always be the problem – sometimes the pursuit of male goldfish during breeding season results in females leaping from the tank trying to escape. If you have an aggressive goldfish that is bullying the others out of the tank, try separating the aggressive fish from the rest of the tank. If you find a goldfish that has jumped out of the tank, do not give up hope! Sometimes goldfish may revive when placed back in the water again if they did not dry out completely and it has been under an hour since they jumped. The gills of the fish may be worked open gently by your fingernails if they have been dried shut. Tile or wood flooring underneath the tank provides a more likely survival chance for a jumper, as water taken out with the fish can keep it moist longer than carpet. Do not try to put a goldfish back in the water if the fish has concave eyes, gray eyes (from death), the skin cracks, or is not intact.


4. Sitting on the bottom of the tank: Goldfish that appear to be resting on the bottom of the tank are probably not enjoying a nice rest. Healthy goldfish remain active almost all of the time, and if your fish tank does not seem to have much life in it, it’s probably time to check into things. Goldfish that sit on the bottom of the tank may lean to one side, clamp their fins, or show other signs of health issues. Goldfish bottom sitting with a red belly are usually beyond the point of recovery. Why do goldfish bottom sit? Usually the problem is water quality, but sometimes the swim bladder may be the cause and it is simply a matter of constipation. Constipated goldfish scoot along the bottom of the tank when startled, rather than muster up the strength to swim regularly as a goldfish affected by nitrite poisoning does. If the goldfish is constipated, try the frozen pea diet for a day or so until the fish regains proper swimming habits.



5. Flashing (darting / scratching): No, a flashing goldfish isn’t blinking out beams of light. 😉 “Flashing” is when a goldfish suddenly dashes around wildly in the tank, sometimes rolling over on their side to rub on the substrate, careening into tank decorations, or hitting their faces in the corners of the tank walls. It may seem that your goldfish is having a fit. Goldfish that flash are itching themselves, much like you do when you get a mosquito bite. Their movements seem uncontrolled and erratic. They are a signal that something is wrong. Flashing is a classic symptom of ich, but your goldfish may harbor almost any other pathogen instead. Any trace of ammonia, nitrite or chlorine or a pH drop or spike can cause flashing as well.

6. Spasms / jerking: When severely irritated, goldfish jerk spasmodically. They may shake their heads suddenly from side to side, convulse their entire bodies, or flick their fins. Water quality problems are usually at the root of this symptom. Parasitic infestation can also cause major irritation.

7. Clamped fins: Any issue with water quality or nearly any parasite can cause goldfish to clamp their fins. These fish swim like they are in a straight jacket; all fins folded in closely to their body as they move. In some cases, the fins flick or twitch in an irritated manner. Clamped fins, like flashing, are a sign of discomfort. Possible causes are measurable amounts of ammonia or nitrite in the water, but clamped fins often accompany parasitic infections as well. Symptoms of ich, flukes, fish lice and velvet include clamped fins. Remember – always test the water before trying to identify a disease.


8. Rapid / labored breathing: Breathing problems are identifiable by observing the patterns of the gill movements. A goldfish breathing fast commonly are suffering from lack of oxygen. If you are keeping your goldfish in a bowl (which is a big no-no; see Common Misconceptions), there is no water agitation and insufficient water volume for a goldfish to breathe. The fish will breathe hard in an effort to maintain sufficient oxygen levels. If this is the case, please move your goldfish into a larger tank as soon as possible. Rapid breathing could also be a sign of stress, especially if it is accompanied by sitting at the bottom of the tank. Stress could be caused by being moved to a new habitat after a long ride in the car from the pet store. Breeding season sometimes heightens stress on female goldfish, which become exhausted after being chased around for hours by males. But stress is also caused by poor water conditions or disease, so always check the water quality and, if there are no problems with it, gill flukes or nearly any other parasite may be the culprit. A goldfish experiencing difficulty breathing may frequently clear its gills by “yawning” repeatedly.

9. Swimming upside down: Does your goldfish seem to have difficulty balancing itself in the water? A goldfish that is stuck upside down is usually experiencing difficulty with its swim bladder – the organ in the goldfish that controls its orientation in the water. Intestinal impaction is usually the cause of goldfish flipping over. That means that meals may be too large or too frequent, or consist only of one dish (such as goldfish flakes, not the best choice for their diet requirements). Feeding dethawed frozen peas usually provides the solution. But buoyancy troubles are not always a symptom of swim bladder disorder, or flip-over disease as it is sometimes called. High nitrites or the presence of ammonia in the tank water can cause goldfish to have problems swimming. A fish labored with internal parasites looses its appetite, and not eating causes the fish to float or flip over.


10. Floating on side: If your goldfish is slightly tipping to one side, it may be normal behavior – especially if it doesn’t have a dorsal fin to help it balance in the water. You might also notice that the fish looks very thin. Water with high nitrites can cause this symptom.

11. Won’t eat (spitting): Healthy goldfish consume everything edible they possibly can, leaving no remains. A fish that devours its food eagerly only to spew it back out again in a ground up cloud is showing signs of a problem. Stress can actually prohibit goldfish from swallowing their food, and this is common with fish that were just brought home from the store and need time to adjust to their new home. A gill fluke infestation or mouth rot may also cause this symptom. Additionally, goldfish with internal fluid buildup (dropsy) are unable to swallow their food at advanced stages of the condition. If a goldfish becomes too sick even to eat, euthanasia is the most humane thing to do for the fish as starvation only would aid a slow death.

Physical Symptoms (By Body Part)


11. Bulging eyes: If the eyes of the goldfish appear to have fluid-filled sacks surrounding one or both of them or protrude unnaturally, Pop-eye is probably the culprit (symptom of a bacterial infection). If the goldfish also has pine-coned scales (dropsy) along with the bulging eyes, the condition is terminal and it would be best to euthanize the fish at this point. Stunted goldfish may sport permanent bulging eyes as a result of disproportionate growth.



12. Cloudy / whitish eyes: A goldfish with this symptom has eyes that look foggy like frosted glass. The fish may show difficulty in seeing food or bump into objects. This is called Cloudy-eye and is either the result of a bacterial infection that sets on after an injury, or the result of damage to the eye through some sort of burn; either from ammonia or the strong chemicals contained in some store bought medications.

13. Missing or damaged eyes: A goldfish will sometimes incur damage to the eye due to mishandling, running into a sharp tank decoration, injury from another fish in the tank, infection or chemical burns from water toxicity. In some cases, the eye may completely come off and leave the fish blind on that side. Telescope eye goldfish varieties are prone to eye loss or damage because of how far their eye stems protrude and their size. Fortunately, most goldfish are able to heal on their own afterwards and can still live a happy life. With this in mind, it is important to choose tank decorations that are fish friendly and maintain good water conditions.



14. Red gills: Though goldfish owners sometimes become concerned when they notice the red color inside a their pet’s gills, this is not usually cause for concern. It is easier to see the red color inside of the gill covers especially on white or matte goldfish. If the gills are swollen or stuck open, however, gill flukes or a bacterial gill infection may be to blame. Gill flukes, like nearly every parasite, are treatable with salt.

15. Pale gills: As previously noted, healthy goldfish gills should be a vibrant red. Pale or whitish gills are a sign of illness. Parasitic infections such as gill flukes may cause microscopic bleeding of the gills, leading to a loss of color.

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16. Holes in gill covers: This is a sign of a severe bacterial infection, which might benefit from antibiotic injections. But even after treatment the holes won’t close.


17. Mouth stuck open: Sometimes a goldfish will get a piece of gravel lodged in its mouth while foraging for food at the bottom of the tank. The goldfish is usually able to work the gravel out on its own within a day, but during that time it will swim around with their mouth in the “out” position and look rather strange. It is recommended to extract the gravel for your goldfish if 24 hours has passed with no improvement. Hold the goldfish gently in one hand with tweezers in the other. Press down underneath the chin slightly, then use the tweezers to remove the piece of gravel very delicately. In some situations, the goldfish’s mouth may be stuck open without any gravel in it. The mouth may snap back into place on its own, then return to the stuck position the next time the fish opens its mouth. This is a more rare phenomenon, but it has been traced to stunting and disproportionate growth from being kept in too small of a tank for too long. The fish cannot eat and will face death through starvation unless humanely euthanized beforehand.



18. Mouth opening to one side only: This is actually not a symptom of a disease or problem with the water in the tank, but is actually a genetic defect that results in a small mouth sometimes angled to one side or even inverted. Goldfish with this condition may need to have their food served in smaller pieces than the other fish in the tank.

19. Red mouth: When the mouth shows redness and inflammation or even begins to cave in on itself, the goldfish is affected by mouth rot. The fish may rub its mouth on tank walls or decoration, causing further irritation. Blisters may also form. Mouth rot in goldfish can get very nasty very fast, so it requires immediate attention.


20. Black spots / smudges: Either natural pigmentation changes may cause a goldfish to develop black on the scales, head or fins, or healing from a recent injury. As goldfish age, their color changes in sometimes unexpected ways. There is only cause for concern if the black marks come and go in a cycle, signalling a reoccurring problem with the tank water or a bullying companion. Ammonia burns after a spike will heal black, but usually revert to the original color of the fish with time if water conditions remain relatively stable. Fins healing after a case of fin rot sometimes show black edges.



21. White spots: If your goldfish appears to be dusted with snowflakes or grains of sand, ich is probably the culprit. The protozoan is white like a speck of lint and will multiply until both the fins and body of the goldfish are completely sprinkled. Sometimes a single speck of ich may come and go, affixing itself to the tail or the wen of a goldfish when the fish has a compromised immune system.

ich copy


22. Raised lumps: Abnormal lumps underneath the skin or attached to the scales are tumors, which may be cancerous or not. Tumors come in all shapes, sizes and colors and can get rather huge when left untreated. Tumors may manifest themselves as a white lump, pink lump, brown lump or dark lump. These masses may even show up on fins as a result of toxins building up in the water. Tumors are removable, but if they are left untreated the fish may die.

23. Red spot(s) on body: These are usually ulcers, or the beginnings of them. Ulcers start out as a tiny red patch of blood on the skin, then progress until the skin begins swelling and eroding. However, red spots on the body may be bites from a parasitic infection such as anchor worm or fish lice, so examine the fish closely.

24. White, milky film on body: This is actually hyperactivity of the goldfish slime coat, producing excess mucus in response to the threat of parasites or poor environmental conditions. Check the pH for a fluctuation and test the water for the presence of ammonia or nitrite. If the water is fine, parasitic attack is probably the cause. Skin flukes, anchor worm and cause goldfish to produce a milky coating on the skin.

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25. Pale color: When a goldfish has lost its color, is usually a signal that the fish is not well and is suffering from either poor water quality or disease. If nitrites are detectable in the water using a water test kit, you have probably found the cause of color loss and should take action to reduce them. Change 50% of the water immediately if ammonia or nitrite levels show up, or if the pH has suddenly shifted. Stress can also cause a lack of bright color in goldfish for a period of time until they adjust or the cause of the stress is removed, such as an aggressive tank mate. Goldfish may change their color from vibrant to dull while their immune system is battling disease, such as a parasitic attack. Any number of parasites can cause color vibrancy to go away. To ensure that your goldfish show the most coloring, provide a high quality diet, which helps to enhance coloring. Also ensure that the tank gets enough light during the day hours (but not too much – you don’t want an algae explosion!). This will help to maintain good coloring in goldfish.

26. Sores: Red, painful-looking and sometimes large sores on the body of a goldfish are ulcers. Ulcers are caused by bacteria that attack the skin when the fish’s immune system is suppressed, usually by poor water quality. Ulcers continue to eat away at the skin of the goldfish until the fish can take no more and finally dies.


27. Fluffy Patches: This may be a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection causing cotton-like growths. Patches of fuzz on the head, body or even fins might be tricky to identify unless you have a microscope.

28. Worms sticking out of body: These are anchor worms – a parasite that attacks goldfish during certain times of the year. Anchor worms are treatable if caught soon enough.


29. Red belly: A goldfish with a red belly is almost always suffering from nitrite poisoning. The effects of poor water quality, at advanced stages, can cause internal bleeding and death. Goldfish that display a red belly are at an advanced stage of poisoning and postponement of euthanasia only prolongs their slow death. Immediately change the water to save any other fish in the tank.

30. Swollen belly (bulging abdomen): If the scales of the goldfish are not raised but the abdomen of the goldfish is bulging unnaturally, egg impaction is the likely cause. A female goldfish with impacted eggs is more and more susceptible to bacterial infection with time. The only way to save the fish at this stage would be to use a hand-spawning-like method to release the eggs. Male goldfish or females that are not mature enough to bear eggs may have a kidney or liver disorder, only fixable through surgery. But remember that an overfed goldfish’s stomach will also distend beyond its normal size, which is why overfeeding is never a good idea.



31. Sunken belly (abnormally thin / wasting away): A goldfish with a sunken belly is usually experiencing the harmful effects of ammonia accumulation in the tank. This can cause the fish to be susceptible to bacterial infection, which makes the stomach appear concave. If the water is fine, an attack of goldfish flukes or another parasite may be causing the goldfish to lose its valuable nutrients. A sunken belly may also be a sign of an underfed goldfish.

32. Bent / kinked back: This is scoliosis in fish, a condition caused by either genetics or electrocution. Scoliosis may cause the scales to pinecone at the curve of the spine. Scoliosis has no cure in fish.


33. Scales sticking out all over (pineconing): This is dropsy, a condition where the buildup of fluids in the goldfish causes the body to swell in such a way as to make the scales stand out and prickle. Dropsy itself is not a disease; it is an indication that something is wrong with the water quality or with the internal organs of the fish. Dropsy, when combined with bulging eyes, is terminal.


34. Scales peeling: When the scales of the goldfish in an area or a patch seem to have peeled back, leaving a bare place on the goldfish’s body, that is a burn. Burns from fluctuating pH levels may occur at any time while the tank is still cycling and trying to establish a colony of beneficial bacteria.

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35. Scales coming off / missing: When a goldfish has missing scales, there is a distinct area on the body of a metallic scaled goldfish that reflects no light and can appear darker than the rest of the scales. A goldfish can lose anywhere from one scale to many, depending on the severity of the problem. Goldfish that have many missing scales are actually showing a symptom of a symptom; the scales are being knocked off the goldfish as a result of flashing. If the problem gets resolved (either fixing the water quality or eliminating the presence of parasites), the scales should grow back with time. If the goldfish is a Pearlscale, however, the missing scales will not resemble pearls but regular scales when they grow back. Please note that a goldfish may also lose a scale or two when trying to squeeze through the opening of a decoration in the tank that is too small to fit through.

Tail & Fins

36. Bloody streaks / red spots in tail or fins: This is a sure sign of a serious problem with the water. High ammonia or nitrites can cause blood hemorrhaging (broken blood vessels) of the veins in the tail of the goldfish, resulting in thin red lines or spots of blood appearing in the fins. Water changes and proper room in the tank can help ensure recovery.


37. Shredded or frayed tail or fins: Traceable ammonia or nitrite levels in the tank can cause the fins of a goldfish to shred and fray like someone has snipped the goldfish’s fins over and over with a pair of scissors until the ribs of the fins give the fish a spiky appearance. Fin rot, too, will cause the fins to fray and disintegrate. The parasite Hexamita, a protozoan brought on by poor environmental conditions, can cause this condition also.

38. Tears / splits in tail or fins: If there are multiple goldfish in the tank, sometimes aggression may occur and leave the victimized fish with splits in the fins. The bully may grab a goldfish’s tail in his mouth and tear savagely, causing rips to ensue. Additionally, poor water quality may cause splits to appear in the tail. Frayed fins may be a sign of fin rot.


39. Milky film on tail or fins: This is caused by excess mucus production in response to poor environmental conditions or parasitic attack. Milky skin is easily detected on varieties such as the Black Moor goldfish.


40. Floating poop / air bubbles in poop: The diet of the goldfish is not varied enough, and air bubbles from meals upon meals of dry flakes are accumulating in the fish’s digestive track and expelled in the casts. Healthy goldfish stool should be the color of the goldfish’s food, usually dark brown in color, and sink to the bottom.

41. Long, trailing white poop: Hollow, stringy poop is the outer casing of the stool. They are called casts, and are normal in goldfish that are kept with sand as the substrate. However, if the poop is long and trailing, this indicates an internal issue such as intestinal bacterial infection or a poor diet. (Sorry for the following picture…)


“How Can I Use This Information For My Fish?”

So now you know what your goldfish’s symptom is from.

What should you do?

Lucky for you, we created just the thing to help you nurse your goldfish back to health and keep it from falling sick again.

You’ll also learn the 5 critical mistakes most people make in your situation – and how to get things back on track fast.

It’s all in our eBook called “The Truth About Goldfish.”

The Secrets to a Healthy Goldfish Revealed

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

Tell Me More!
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Join the Fastest Growing Goldfish Facebook Group to Post Your Question

I’ve got to say I was blown away by the number of comments this article has gotten.

Since so many people need help, I decided to start a free private goldfish Facebook group as my way to say thanks to my awesome readers.

It’s a great place for people who are struggling with sick fish to get advice from fellow hobbyists and post photos (something the comments section on here can’t do).

There are so many great members willing to dedicate their time to helping others…


So, what are you waiting for?

Head over to the group now. I look forward to seeing you there! 🙂

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  1. Z November 8, 2015 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Fish with crystals this morning red streaks on scales cloudy on eyes seems to “sleep” on bottom a lot and wont eat. Treating with pimax cleaned water. What is happening? And does she need more oxygen? Fish is 6″long.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Might depend on the size of the tank, how many fish you have and how much of the water you are changing… if you have a filter, it’s probably not an oxygen problem.

      • carleigh June 3, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

        Im 10 and my fish has a red spot between his eyes what is it?

        • Clementine
          Clementine June 4, 2016 at 4:14 am - Reply

          Hey Carleigh, it could be the beginnings of an ulcer because of water quality problems. Changing the water is the best thing to do 🙂

      • jenny October 27, 2017 at 4:57 am - Reply

        hi i have a oranda goldfish and she always goes behind the filter and when i come home she comes out and i see a white and purple color on her top fin and shes trying hard to swim down , i dont know whats wrong with her and its not the milky film

        Rating: 3
        • Clementine
          Clementine October 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

          Have you tested the water, jenny?

          • jenny October 30, 2017 at 3:55 am - Reply

            yea i tested the water

            Rating: 4
  2. Pedro November 8, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply


    I just stumbled on this site and found it good.

    I just bought a goldfish a week ago but till the fish tank arrived I kept him in a bowl. Later I found that fish thanks need to cycle first before adding fish.

    The problem: I don’t know if I can wait more time for the tank to cycle. Why? My goldfish is either sitting at the bottom of the bowl or at the surface gasping.

    Should I just change him to the fish tank? (50 liter tank)

    Best regards,


    • Clementine
      Clementine November 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Pedro, for your kind words! No, I wouldn’t wait. Get him out of the bowl and move him to the tank, but be sure to do daily water changes until it is cycled.

  3. Jennifer November 12, 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Thank you for your hard work on compiling all this information !
    I believe I finally have a name for what my black mor gold fish has been suffering with for over a year.
    Today his eye that has been so bulged for so long- came out!
    He seems to be doing fine – changed the water after it happend. He had lived with two other goldfish for almost 7 years. Eats and does his thing. I have looked and looked for “bumps on goldfish” but never found anything until tonight.
    What can i do for him for the lumps ?

    Again thank you

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 12, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      You’re very welcome, Jennifer =)

      Not sure what you mean by bulged… was there a lump on it or was the eye swollen out, like pop eye?

  4. Marie November 12, 2015 at 8:53 am - Reply

    My fish has two notable red spots; one on his back right before his tail fin and one on his right eye. Upon further inspection, he’s got tiny red dots all over his tail. I got some bad apparently very bad advice from someone so it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve cleaned his tank. I haven’t seen these spots until today though. I just got done cleaning his tank thoroughly. So, my two questions, until I can go out and buy a new tank that doesn’t have a brown ring that I can’t get off, is it safe since its been cleaned otherwise to put him back in there once the water settles? Second, is there anything I can do to treat these spots other than what I’ve already done? I have him rating tetra fun stuff, should I do straight up peas as you suggest for other things? Thank you in advance…


    • Clementine
      Clementine November 12, 2015 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Hey Marie,

      I would make sure to clean the tank. Most likely your problem is bad water, and I’d be sure to test it every day and change it until you see improvement. The spots are commonly found with ammonia or nitrite levels.

  5. Kathy November 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you for all of this information. We really needed this.
    My daughter and her husband left us with a 10 gallon tank with 8 goldfish. Everything has been going well. Until last week when one of the fish died. Now we are watching another one die and the others aren’t moving like they usually do–just hanging on the bottom, still eating. But what is going on? Our fear is that all of them will slowly die and this upsets us quite a bit.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 13, 2015 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Good to hear you found it useful, Kathy! Sounds like an overloaded tank. It’s recommended to have 10 gallons per fancy goldfish (at least). Less than that, and you are looking at a rapid buildup of toxic waste which is killing off your fish. More space and cleaner water is the solution.

  6. Sarah November 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    My black goldfish has a long trailing poop and is at the bottom of the tank 🙁 any ideas on what to do?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      If I were you, Sarah, I’d test the water and then change it right away – at least 50%. Then I’d keep changing it each day until he starts looking better.

  7. Fish Fan November 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    I have a goldfish named Shu Bunkin. He has tumors, ulcers, and trailing casts. He was fine until this morning, when he started bottom-sitting. What do I do?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Change the water, and keep changing it would be my suggestion.

      • Fish Fan November 16, 2015 at 12:40 am - Reply

        Unfortunately, Shu passed away 30 minutes ago.

        • Clementine
          Clementine November 16, 2015 at 3:01 am - Reply

          Sorry to hear about that. =( It really breaks your heart when that happens…

  8. Casey November 16, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I noticed yesterday whilst doing their water change that one of my goldfish has a small patch of scales, on his side near his “bum”, look like they have been scraped backwards (if you get what I mean). I would say it was about 5-6 scales. They are still attached but raised and the skin under looks a little sore! He’s acting normal and him and his two buddies all get along in a 280 litre tank with 2 external filters. So when changing the water I just added a drop of “healthy goldfish” incase of parasites.

    I’m worrying like crazy because I painfully lost a shubunkin 4 months ago and it broke my heart! He was a big fish!

    Please put my mind at ease 🙁

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      That sounds typical of an ulcer to me, Casey. Those are usually a secondary bacterial infection – an indication of water quality problems, not parasites. I’d focus on recovering water quality through reduced feeding and increased water changes.

  9. Anna November 17, 2015 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    I have a 54litre tank with two goldfish, small loach and three little shrimp. One goldfish is a fancy one that’s white that is showing blood marks and the other is yellow with black marks. Can anyone advise on treatment, abt 25% of tank water changed every week, vacuum used for gravel, two filters in tank.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Hey Anna, your fish are showing classic symptoms of ammonia poisoning. Water changes, reduced feeding and more space per fish are the fix! =)

  10. Pippa November 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply


    I just stumbled across this post and I have to say it’s really informative and the pictures really help. I used to have Fish as a kid they died after having them for around 14years.
    I recently ‘won’ a goldfish at a carnival and I hate seeing live animals stuck there so I recued one I took it straight to a local pet store where there re bagged him and put him in a box so he wouldn’t stress. I later put him in a 10litre plastic tank, I have an air stone in there, lots of gravel graduated to the front of the tank some artificial plants and a small castle I feed him a mixture of sinking and floating pellets once a day (about 5 small pellets) I treat the water with a de-chlorinator by King British and give him fish safe after two weeks only changing the water once a month.

    My question is lately (he’s on his own) he swims up and down the corner of the tank rapidly sometimes jumping out the water, he then proceeds to gulp at the surface and swim back down to scavenge for food where when he picks up the good he twitches his head this can go on pretty much all day until I turn out his light and he rests on the bottom for the night.
    I am at a total loss as to what is going on or how to help. I know I need a tank filter ASAP but is there anything I can do in the mean time?

    Thank you for all the help this site has given me and Thank you in advance for any replies.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Appreciate your kind thoughts, Pippa! I can tell you what is likely going on… ammonia poisoning. I’ll cut to the chase: between an 10litre container (too small), lots of gravel (traps debris), too many pellets (3 is plenty), no filter, and no good bacteria colony established, you have a recipe for New Tank Syndrome and a massive ammonia spike. Until you can get a bigger tank and filter, you can take action meanwhile by changing the water each day and reduce feeding.

  11. Lovemygoldfish305 November 22, 2015 at 7:28 am - Reply

    I bought two new gold fish, and added them into the tank with my baby Glo. I was to change the filter and refresh the water before doing so and did not. Glo was due for a new filter already. A week or two goes by, my niece realizes Glo has a red belly. I see her fins are red as well. She is darting around scratching herself. One of the new fish had an opening. I thought he would heal… I will be keeping the new one in a gallon bowl for 3 days. But Glo is in the tank with the seemingly well other new… I bought fish aid. added the correct amount as directed as well as put them all in fresh water and a new filter. Glo is at the bottom of the tank. I really do love Glo and would hate to flush her. Should I change 25% every so often and add the fish aide daily as the bottle says? it smells like vicks rub on.sorry so long. but i have never expeirenced this. I know it is from the bad filter and water quality… What to do?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      No I wouldn’t do the fish aid. Correcting the water quality is what your fish needs more than anything else, which is done through filter cleaning and lots of water changes. You can’t have too many of them. What happened is your system got overloaded with so many fish.

  12. lyndell November 23, 2015 at 2:35 am - Reply

    My male oranda has tubercles that keep getting red like small dots. Only on one side… HELP… I’ve tried everything and you sound like you know what your talking about.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 23, 2015 at 4:15 am - Reply

      Hey Lyndell, usually in cases like that it’s an ammonia or nitrite issue. Have you tested the water and changed it lately?

  13. lyndell November 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Yes. 3 days ago. Nitrate 0ppm. Nitrite 0ppm. Ammonia .0ppm. Ph 7.4. . I will check it again today as you adviced and make water change. I will give it a couple days and let you know.. Thank you very much for your response. I wished there was a way to send you a picture. …

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      If you open a topic in the Forums you can add pictures =) But yeah, changing the water would be a good idea.

  14. Dave November 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your efforts and valuable information about gold fish. My fish, “franky two-fins” seems to have a hemroid or prolapsed anus. I noticed it when I changed his water yesterday. He is always hungry, scavenges the gravel for crumbs (dry tetra goldfish flakes) is what he gets.
    Occasionally his poo gets stuck and takes a while to fall off, but it’s not white. Any suggestions.. Thanks again!

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Some protrusion at the vent is normal for a female goldfish. Does it look like a whitish bump or something else?

      • Dave November 24, 2015 at 6:59 am - Reply

        Thanks for your quick response. No it’s red that’s protruding out.

        • Clementine
          Clementine November 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

          Could be an ulcer, but it’s hard to tell without a photo. Might I suggest opening a topic in the Forums? Then you can upload pictures…

  15. Peka November 24, 2015 at 3:58 am - Reply


    I have a 6 inch goldfish that I have had for almost 9 years. This morning he had a clamped fin and when I came home one of his eyes was bulging out. I was in the middle of doing a water change when he worsened drastically. He is swimming sideways and with an arched back and now both eyes are bulging. He is also darting around and bumping into the walls now.

    Hoping I can do something to save him :(! Thank you so much for your website! It is very helpful!

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 24, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear about your fish’s condition, Peka. It’s hard to say without knowing water parameters, tank size, number of fish, etc… mind giving me those details?

  16. Fiona November 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply


    Our goldfish is very unwell. For a few months he has been very lethargic, staying in the same spot for most of the time and not swimming the way he used to. Two weeks ago we tested his water and it was fine. We tried him for 7 days on Melafix and he seemed to perk up a but for the last week he has taken a turn for the worse. He is not eating at all and is now lying on his side at the bottom of the tank barely making any movements.

    Since he became worse we have been cleaning his tank 25% weekly.

    Its very distressing as I’m not sure if he is in pain. Is there anything else we can do to help?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Have you tested the water lately? What were your readings for ammonia?

  17. Hayley November 25, 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply


    I suspect a few of my goldfish are unwell. I’ve noticed over the past week that my lionhead has developed red patches on it’s body and I think my black moor has them as well as being a bit pale, although it can be hard to tell. My lionhead tends to dart around too. I have a very lethargic bubble eye who also has a new red spot on his gill, and a few of the fish have slightly frayed tails and white spots. This has all happened over the last week, the tank was leaking so I put them into smaller tanks while the bigger one was getting fixed. I’m very worried about them.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 27, 2015 at 3:06 am - Reply

      Likely they are suffering from issues with water parameters, especially in a smaller space. How many fish do you have per gallon?

  18. Joe November 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    My golfish has one sticking out scale what is it thank you

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 27, 2015 at 3:07 am - Reply

      That’s typical of what happens when the fish has been injured by scratching or an object in in the tank, Joe. The scale will usually fall off shortly thereafter.

  19. Meagan November 27, 2015 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I’ve had four goldfish Living happily for the past four months, then suddenly they all seemed to stop swimming and just hung out on the bottom of the tank. Two of them looked like they were losing some scales and their fins looked “shredded”. Changed half the water but those two fish died. After finding this site and doing some research I thought it was amonia or nitrite poisoning so changed the water again and added ph balancing and ammonia stuff I got at the pet store. The remaining two fish seemed to be doing better until today they were both on the bottom of the tank again, missing scales, and one of them has what looks like fluffy white stuff growing on him. From what I can tell from this article, must be a parasite of some sort? What do I do to treat that? My daughter is devastated and I don’t want to go buy more fish if the tank isn’t safe. Please help!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 27, 2015 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Hey Meagan! Really it’s unlikely that your goldfish have one of these diseases. More goldfish suffer from “environmental disease” than anything else – which is, as you suspected, ammonia or nitrite poisoning. Keep changing the water every day and testing until the parameters stabilize.

      • Meagan November 27, 2015 at 11:15 am - Reply

        Will do! Thank you for getting back to me so fast!

  20. Ashlene Peralez November 29, 2015 at 7:05 am - Reply

    My gold fish, (boy) has like a red rash on its side. Not like dots but like a red blood clot almost. And it kinda looks like skin is coming off of him. But not a lot. He has been laying at the bottom of the tank for almost 3 days now. He has gotten a lot skinnier . He has a brother also with him. I don’t think my fish would hurt each other. They were born and raised together. I’ve have them both for about 1 year. They are in a square 10 gallon aquarium. He has never had this problem before. PLEASE HELP! The other gold fish is fine.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      Hmm, the tank is a bit cramped Ashlene, likely you are having water quality issues. Have you tried testing it?

  21. McKenna November 30, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

    I have 2 goldfish and an algae eater in a 5.5 gallon tank. I was away for a week and had my brother keep an eye on my fish. We put an automatic feeder in the tank and I later found out that he was feeding them extra as well. Today, I discovered one of my fish has red sploches on his body. They look almost bloody. There is one under his mouth, one on his side and a small one where his tail starts. I’m assuming it’s from over feeding and a dirty tank resulting from that but I would like to make sure. I changed the filter not too long ago and I’m hoping that will clear the water up. Any suggestions? I would really hate to lose another fish. (I lost one a few months ago to an unknown cause.)
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 30, 2015 at 5:07 am - Reply

      Hey Mckenna! Yeah, that’s a typical scenario – too many fish for the tank and too much food. That will create a massive ammonia problem. Changing the water is really what you need to do until you can get a bigger tank. That, and less food as I’m sure you know 😉

  22. Lou November 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have a fantail goldfish and a small goldfish in a 30L biorb. Had them for about 18 months all fine. My fantail has ratty fins and tail and is at the bottom of the tank with a large bulging belly, more on one side. His gills appear to be gasping and look red/swollen. I’ve tested the water, all fine but ph a little low, nothing to explain this. No pineconing of scales. I’ve done a water change and added melafix. The other fish seems fairly healthy, if not slightly freaked out by his buddies illness. I’m really worried and would be really grateful for your advice. He looks like he’s suffering and its really upsetting.

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 30, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Did you test for ammonia, Lou? Often times those kits are sold separately but it is the most important parameter. My advice would be to get a bigger tank and do lots of water changes, because 30l is hardly enough room just for one goldfish before water quality problems start happening…

  23. Jaime December 1, 2015 at 3:58 am - Reply

    I have a goldfish who for the past week has not eaten and has been pretty much sitting near the surface of his 10-gallon tank. I had the pet store test my water quality today, and they said the nitrites are high and they gave me a chemical to put in the water to remove the nitrites. 5 days ago I did a 25% water change. They told me just add the chemical and not to do another water change yet. I added the chemical about 6 hours ago, and he is still sitting at the surface/not eating. Do you have any suggestions on anything I can do to try to help him? Any advice you have would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 1, 2015 at 4:12 am - Reply

      The pet store people should have let you know that chemicals are only a band-aid, Jaime. Only water changes provide a lasting solution to nitrite problems. I would ditch it all together and do large water changes every day until he gets better.

  24. Katie December 1, 2015 at 8:11 am - Reply

    My goldfish has been at the top on his tank, belly up for the past week probably. I’ve just been thinking he’s being silly until I noticed that there is what seems to be blood on his stomach…would this be considered an ulcer? or perhaps nitrite poisoning? I think he’s also having a hard time breathing. I feel so bad! What do I do? He also mostly stays by the filter in his tank…

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      Probably not an ulcer… as you suspected, red belly is definitely a symptom of nitrite poisoning. You would have to test the water to confirm and do large water changes. But usually red belly is terminal :/

  25. Harry December 2, 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Hi guys I actually have only 1 gold fish for few month and my gold fish doing well till today I bought another gold fish before I add the new fish I wash the 10L tank ! And I realize that the tail turn red and I not sure bout it any advice

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      A bigger tank and water changes would be my advice, Harry =) Goldfish should have at least 37 l per fish or their water gets too dirty.

  26. Mariel December 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    My goldfish has been floating on the top of the water on its side for over 3 weeks. He tries to swim down sometimes but can’t. It looks like he’s bloated on one side. At first the fin on his belly was getting red but now it’s spread to patches of red on his belly. I’m only feeding him once a day. I don’t think he is pooping but I’m not really sure. I’m going to check the ph balance of the water tomorrow. I hate to see him suffer like this for so long. It is really upsetting me. All the help would b much appreciated. Don’t know if it’s a parasite or poor water quality with too much nitrate or should do the frozen pea diet or something to do with salt or bloat. It’s just been too long to see him like this. Yes he is a male. Thank you so much if u could help me out with anything?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 2, 2015 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      Yes, please tell us the results of testing the water. Don’t forget ammonia, nitrite and nitrate!

  27. Hannah December 3, 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I’ve been a little concerned for my little red cap oranda goldfish. Last week I noticed he had dropped some scales on one side and one of his front fins had some red marks. I immediately went to my local aquarium shop and had the water tested – everything was normal. I’ve been doing water changes regularly every 3 – 4 days since and I use StressCoat as the conditioner. The tank is probably a little on the small side – 12litres. He is still eating well but I have noticed him flashing a little. Since last week despite the water changes, he has lost more scales and today I noticed some red spots on his side. What should I do?
    Help I don’t want him to die I’m very fond of him

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Hi there Hannah, do you have a filter? Or any kind of gravel on the bottom?

  28. Genna December 3, 2015 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Hi, I had two goldfish one I won at a fair, the other bought at a pet shop- (fair one called mojito, and bought one called martini) I came back from work today, to find martini floating at the top of my tank, dead. I quickly removed him from the tank to find mojito distraught with a split tail, blood red streaks in his tail and red spots on his body. He is really not acting himself. And I am extremely worried. His dorsal fin is clamped down and has very red gills. I read through the list of simptoms and it said about water quality and ammonia, nitrates etc.. But I use tap water from my house when cleaning it out- so I hope it doesn’t have ammonia in it!! My tank isn’t a bowl, but it doesn’t have a filter so the water is just still and not getting cleaned, just straight from the tap. I am not able to buy different medicines for my fish or water purifier, as I am a teenager and don’t have the money. I am really stuck for what to do, but I really don’t want mojito to die as I have grown attached to him since I have had him a while now. Nothing like this has ever happened before, my fish have always been healthy and happy, and I haven’t changed anything the water is still the same water etc… Please help as I think my beloved fish is very seriously sick help!!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      While the tap water may not have ammonia in it when you first put it in the tank, it may have ammonia a week or so later. That is because goldfish produce ammonia. It is a byproduct of their waste and respiration. If that ammonia isn’t removed through filtration and/or water changes (i.e. taking out the old water that has been polluted with ammonia and putting in fresh water) than it causes the goldfish to get poisoned. Blood red streaks and split fins are symptoms of that. Because you don’t have a filter your fish depend solely on water changes, which has to happen on a much more frequent basis without one. =)

  29. Genna December 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! So would that mean that I have to do water changes every week? Thank you again!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 4, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      Sure =) Yes, 50% weekly is the bare minimum, for filtered tanks. Since you don’t have one you really should be doing them every few days to every other day. But, if you get a filter and cycle it (which can take a few weeks or more) than eventually you could get down to once weekly.

  30. Jean December 7, 2015 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh, this site is awesome. I have 5 goldfish in a 55 gallon tank. They are pond rescues so they are fairly large, maybe 3 – 4 inches. They have been inside since September and have been happy and active. We put a placo in the tank 10 days ago and now they are huddled up in a corner of the tank. They still eat but are all scrunched up. Maybe ick spots, but not sure. Any thoughts?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 7, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Thanks, Jean =) Plecos are known for harassing goldfish. Tropical fish just don’t mix well with them… sooner or later, there are issues. I would definitely take him out and keep an eye on the condition of the goldfish. If it gets worse, you may have to treat for ich.

      • Jean December 7, 2015 at 5:04 am - Reply

        Thanks you so much! I’ll move the pleco to a different tank. My husband thought I was being crazy!!

  31. jollymerry December 10, 2015 at 4:49 am - Reply

    Hi, I did a water change and one of my goldfish died (he had one scale fall off and inside was inflamed/red). The other goldfish were also not doing well even though they were only in the water for a couple of minutes. I re-measured Prime and tested the water and put my fish in. It’s been a few days and one of my goldfish wont eat. He sometimes goes to the top to breathe then goes back down and hangs around the bottom. Is there anything I can do?

    The only reason I can think of that messed their environment up was potentially too much Prime in the initial water change. I did close to 3 ml instead of 2 ml normal, but I thought more prime was still safe for fish as long as it is not more than a couple times the recommended dose. One of my white goldfish’s tail area (before the actual tail on the body) became red and took a while to go back to normal white as well.

    Do you know what happened? Is there a way I can get that goldfish to eat? Please help!! Thanks!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Did you test the water before the water change, jollymerry – especially for ammonia and nitrite? The Prime is totally fine in the concentration you used. You can use way more than that without issues. Most likely your water parameters were not right initially…

      • jollymerry December 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

        The water is totally fine according to a water test. Now two are not eating and one has a fraying tail. I’ve put in antibiotics and salt but they still arent eating. Any advice? Thanks!!!

        • jollymerry December 14, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

          She’s now eating and spitting out. The other fish that also wasnt eating is now somewhat eating. Do you know what I can do to help my sick fish stop spitting? Thanks!

          • jollymerry December 14, 2015 at 1:58 am - Reply

            Sorry for triple posting, but I wanted to add detail that she isn’t spitting out in a cloud. She seems hungry but is treating food like pebbles and spitting it out. The food isn’t being chewed. I’m not sure why, is it because she can’t taste due to antibiotics? Or is there a parasite? or breathing problem?

            I can’t tell. Hopefully effort to eat is a good sign and maybe she’ll eat either her normal pellets, peas, or my betta pellets. I may even buy bloodworms or something, but I’m not sure if it’s a taste thing. Please let me know what you think!

            • Clementine
              Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

              No worries. It might be that she is being over-fed. How much do you normally give her?

        • Clementine
          Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

          If they don’t eat my advice is not to feed. It will only mess with the water. It would still be a good idea to change the water each day.

  32. mickey December 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    i have 7 goldfish in a 65 litre tand 4 are small comets and 3 are 5 inch goldfish. because the tank is over loaded iv had a bit of new tank syndrone even though tank is established and have had some amonia problem which is now down to 0.25 nitrite is 0 and nitrate 40 ppm ph 7.6 iv noticed on 2 of the larger fish they are a bit pink and white milky patchs by top main fin. both are mail and have been chaseing my 1 female.iv a 550 litre tank comeing sat and have placed the 2 fish in a hospital tank and treated with melafix. do you know what problem is and am i doing right.iv also done another water change in their original tank.thanks in advance for you takeing the time to help people.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 10, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      You are definitely doing the right thing, mickey, in getting a bigger tank. As you said your current setup is extremely overloaded. Your problem has everything to do with water quality. With so many fish it is impossible to have safe water quality unless you are changing the water all the time. I think daily 90% water changes are mandatory until your new tank gets there. =)

  33. Courtney December 11, 2015 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Hi! My kids won two goldfish at a fair and they have both been doing well. Except recently the largest one (Marley) has lost scales and is breathing heavy, long trailing white poop, is not eating and hanging out at the bottom of the tank. Today I came home to see that where Marley is missing scales it now seems like it has white fuzzy stuff in the two spots. The other (Goldfish) is still eating and acting normal.
    I have been doing a 50% water change once a week. I do only have both of them in a 3 gallon tank. Is this all because the tank is too small or is Marley sick with some sort of parasite? Please help. I have never owned fish and I am trying desperately to keep them well and healthy as pets for my kids. Any advice? Thank you.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 11, 2015 at 3:01 am - Reply

      Hey, Courtney =) Yup, sounds like an undersized tank issue to me. 50% weekly just won’t cut it… but to do the number of water changes they would need, it would take a lot of time and they will still outgrow the space. Easily. Fair fish are most commonly feeder fish (aka commons and comets) so it’s recommended to have 40 gallons apiece for those guys. Oh, and don’t forget filtration, that can really help too.

  34. Luke December 11, 2015 at 5:34 am - Reply

    Hello, I have a fancy goldfish in a 20 gallon tank. It has been working for nearly a year. A few months ago, my goldfish began to loss its scales, resulting in silvery metallic color on some areas of its body. It seemed to heal, until again it god the same problem, exempt that thsi time it seemed to have gashes on it’s head again. I do weekly water changes and have been treating my tank with salt to deal with possible parasites, but nothing seems to be working :(.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Hi there Luke! How big are the water changes? What about filter cleaning? Do you test the water before your water changes to see if something is off there?

  35. Nurul December 12, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Hi. I had a 2.5 x 5 feet aquarium. I had 4 goldfish and 8 little fish in the aquarium. Yesterday, i found 1 of my goldfish having a bloated belly and floating upside down. I already moved the sick fish into a different aquarium. The simptoms of my fish are :
    1) bloated belly
    2) rotted fins (looks like something had tear it apart, some part of the tail seems eaten)
    3) red spots on the bloated belly.

    Please help, i don’t want to say goodbye to this fish. :'(

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Not exactly sure how many gallons your tank is, Nurul, but likely your tank is overcrowded and having ammonia problems. Bigger tank and water changes should help.

  36. K December 13, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

    I have a goldfish around eight years old. Recently he has been slow moving and has a pinkish line near the top (and another near the bottom) of his tail. One or two scales have faded as well, Is this just a sign of old age? He is an enormous fish, probable over 10cm.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Might be an issue with water quality, K. Have you tried testing it lately?

  37. kaz December 13, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I have notice on of My goldfish has a suddenly irragular shape belly. Is my fish is effected from some disease.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Sometimes females develop a lopsided shape due to egg development. But it might help to see a photo…

  38. Sara December 14, 2015 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Hi! My goldfish Owen is 2 years old and he hasn’t been well for the past two days. He has little red spots at the top of his body near his top fin. They don’t seem like ulcers since they don’t look sore but I don’t know. He lives in a 10 gallon tank with another goldfish Lila. These red spots have happened about two times before and I’ve fed him peas, they helped him a lot and got rid of the red spots. I cleaned they’re tank today and changed the filter, also added some water solution. I think I have to clean out the water more often, but please give some advice. I did find your website quite useful so thank you!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Those are often a sign of high nitrites, Sara. Likely you are having water quality issues, which is more likely when the tank is overstocked. I would recommend getting another larger tank for your 2 goldfish as 10 gallons is only sufficient space for one. Glad you like the site 😉

  39. Kristina December 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    My fish has a red spot on the top of his mouth. He’s sitting at the bottom of the bucket. I keep him in a bucket because my turtle killed one of my other goldfish and harmed the other three. The three that I have left two of them died but I have one left. So I have to keep them in an orange bucket. I have know where else to put them and I don’t know what to do. He’s starting to die and I’m scared. He’s my only one left. Please help me. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. In so confused. Please tell me what I should do.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      That’s too bad about your turtle doing that, Kristina. A bucket should only be a very temporary home for your goldfish. They need enough space to dilute the waste they produce. I would advise getting a 10 gallon tank (or 20 if you want to spoil him), a filter and doing daily water changes until they system stabilizes.

  40. Kristina December 14, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    He also has some tears on his fins.

  41. Anna December 16, 2015 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Last week I went to feed my fish to find him on his back with a large maroon spot on his abdomen that I first assumed to be blood, fearing that my cat had found a way to get into the tank and taken a swipe at him. I waited, on edge, for days, simply waiting for my poor fish to pass, but it’s almost over a week later and he’s still alive. However, he remains floating on his back and the red spot has faded from maroon to a lighter red color, also shrinking in size. What could be happening, and what can I do to help him?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 16, 2015 at 3:03 am - Reply

      Sounds like nitrite poisoning to me, Anna. Red belly is a very common symptom of that. You might try testing for it and seeing what is going on with the water parameters.

  42. Leah December 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Hi, my goldfish appears to have servere red blood marks all over his white patches, as soon as I noticed this i done a water change. However today it’s got worse and has like fur on his scales he floats around the tank and goes up gasping for air I also have another goldfish in with him that’s sitting at the bottom of the tank and doesn’t appear to have fur scales or red blood patches? Help

  43. Leah December 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I forgot to say there is also 2 small guppies and a younge Molly in the tank too and they appear to be fine

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply

      Did you try testing the water, Leah? I would be especially concerned about your ammonia and nitrite levels, which often cause redness and blood spots. Also if your tank is undersized or if you are not changing the water enough regularly that could definitely cause the issues you are seeing.

  44. Salorah December 18, 2015 at 12:41 am - Reply

    Hi!! I’ve had my goldfish for over a year. He’s been happy and healthy up until now, but I’ve noticed that he has two small white lumps sticking out of his scales, and that he’s been losing scales? Will he be okay? I’ve been treating his scales with some salts (by now I’ve forgotten the name) that I bought at the pet store. They worked really well on my last fish who had got bitten multiple times by another, but now it’s not doing anything. All of his scales aren’t “pineconing” but about 3 have thick white things sticking out. Any clue what this could be? :/
    I also clean the tank about twice a month, and I use some purifier to balance out the pH, chlorine and chloramine levels (pet store employee recommended).

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 18, 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Hi there =) Afraid the tank isn’t getting cleaned enough, Salorah. It is recommended to change the water at least once a week. Likely you have some bad bacteria accumulating in the tank causing your fish to be ill.

  45. Brinay December 19, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

    What happen if your fish have scales on their eyes?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 19, 2015 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Do you mean like cloudy eye, Brinay?

  46. Terry December 19, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Good Day to you,..

    Just found this site and find it extremely informative,…perhaps you can help me?,…55cm cube tank,.2 weeks since set up,. 2 internal filters,. weed and boogwood, I think it is 160litres,…contains 5 small goldfish and 4 white cloud. One of the Goldfish,..shop bought 7 days ago becam lethargic and disoriented,… have done a small 35litre water change and it has improved but now swims with a wobble,.and has a flattish stomach compared to its twin, and I have today noticed it has blood red colouring at the base of its front fins, whereas the other fish have not,..it eats well, dried food, mashed peas and frozen bloodworm. It will on occasions brush agains the floor of the tank, it is also the most energetic…..ill,..or just a nutter!!?? lol



    • Clementine
      Clementine December 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Tez, happy you find it useful. The behavior you are seeing is called “flashing.” It means the fish is irritated by something (not a nutter ha ha). Afraid your tank is experiencing issues with water quality… something that often happens with an overcrowded system and/or not enough regular water changes. If you test the water you’ll be able to know for sure if you have ammonia or nitrite readings.

  47. Debbie Zerbinopoulod December 22, 2015 at 12:17 am - Reply

    My goldfish has spent the better part of 2 days in the corner of the 40 gal tank. He’s 11 inches long n really is my buddy! He appears to have developed a small blackened spot on the right side of his mouth. He just darted around the tank 2x. He has eaten 2x, today….cooked, shelled peas. Could turning off the filtration overnight have caused his issues…and/or feeding cold shelled peas rather than warm ones? I’m very concerned!! Hope to hear back asap. Thanks

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 22, 2015 at 3:45 am - Reply

      Hey Debbie, have you tested the water by any chance? It sounds like your buddy might be getting a little too much food leading to an ammonia spike.

  48. Debbie Zerbinopoulod December 22, 2015 at 5:51 am - Reply

    I have not…but plan to do that first thing tomorrow. I have treated the water with 1/2 cap full of Prime, as u changed 1/2 the tank a few days ago. He’s the only fish so I’m fortunate in thatvway.. no added chance of introduced disease. I’m concerned of a dark spot n seemingly larger area on his mouth, along with what I think is an increase of white spots…NOT ich. :/ I am really concerned. He just took another 2 flash laps around too. Btw, what is the ideal temp of the tank water?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      I would change the water every day while he is not doing well. The dark spot is likely a burn, and flashing indicates irritants in the water. Ideal temp is 70-80 degrees F =)

  49. Jennifer December 23, 2015 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Hi there. My gold fish has been swimming upside down for the past week. He keeps floating belly up at the top of the tank. I’ve left fast for a couple days, but today noticed he can’t flip over at all and has what looks like a blood bruise right centre of his under belly. Is likely suffering?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennifer =) It sounds like he might be. His issue might be related to nitrite poisoning and red belly typically is fatal in goldfish. You may want to consider euthanasia to end his suffering.

  50. Debbie Zerbinopoulod December 23, 2015 at 2:32 am - Reply

    I just changed the water, abut 5 gal. of it. ….I tested the water earlier and it was perfect at 75 ph. I have to warm the water a bit, as it is 68°. He is no longer nose down tail up, but ‘resting’ on the bottom with dorsal layer down n beautiful tail made as small as he can, right now. How long does the air bladder n constipation issue take to resolve? I am so concerned and yet still have much to do for the holiday, but I’m afraid to leave for more than a little bit. :/ Should I hold off on feeding him? And, I’m not sure I mentioned the smooth white areas b4, but, wanted to ask if there is any other issue besidesign ich that could be abnormal…or, since he has grown so much, could it be normal for him? Sorry to be a pest, but I take caring for all my animals very seriously. ..when they aren’t well, I am stressed! :/ thank u, btw!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Did you test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? In many cases the first two are the most important to know. Hmm, a photo of the white areas might be helpful. You may want to consider starting a topic in the forums so you can upload one.

  51. Angelle December 23, 2015 at 4:04 am - Reply

    This morning, I saw that our goldfish has a “bruise” which kind of trails from his mouth to his forehead. It’s a pinkish lump and the parts it touches is rimmed with red dots. He’s still energetic and eats well. I’m not sure if he has ammonia burns or if he was bullied by our other goldfish. 🙁 Please help.

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      It might be a burn, Angelle. I would suggest testing the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH right away so you can know if something is amiss there. And either way I would change the water asap. Hope he gets better!

  52. Kimberly Hannaford December 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Hi there

    I have a 200 litre tank with 5 goldfish, 2 snails and 2 loaches. I have a large external filter (fit for 300 litres) and do weekly water changes of circa 15% and clean the gravel at the same time. I feed goldfish flakes and also the gel food sachets (daphenia and blood worms) and have live plants and i also have an airstone. My largest (and oldest- 4 year old) fish has for the last few days sitting on the bottom of the tank, regularly. He is very lethargic and although he swims and can do with no problems there is something wrong. All perameters are in safe range (although ph was 6.8) so i have added a ph buffer to raise to 7.5 (which incidentally has made my tank all cloudy but the instructions say this is common for 24-48 hours).

    I have done a 50% water change before the ph buffer, and changed the top layer of the filter adding carbon to take any trace nasties from the water. He is still bottom sitting,.. I love these little fish and would be very sad if he were to die. Any ideas at all what could be the problem?


    • Clementine
      Clementine December 24, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Well for starters Kimberly I’m afraid to say the tank is a bit crowded. 5 goldfish would be fine for that size, but with the loaches that adds to the bioload even more. 15% weekly isn’t enough to keep up with that, you would need to do at least 50% twice weekly. If the pH is low that will stress the fish also. And gravel really traps debris and makes it hard to keep the tank clean. That causes parameters to get out of whack and make for sick fish. For now I would actually be doing 50% daily water changes as your fish is not doing well. Once things seem more under control then you can cut back, and maybe consider finding the loaches another home as they are tropicals and really shouldn’t be kept with goldies. Hope this helps! =)

      • Kimberly Hannaford December 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

        Hi Clementine,

        I hospitalised my big fish, added salt and a goldfish remedy which treats a number of bacterial and fungal infection. He has got much better so assume a bacterial infection.

        He is now swimming around properly again, and has started eating! yay so he will stay in hospital for one more day and then i will return him to the main tank. Also, I will increase the water changes. I would never have done so much given Im really careful about testing and the perameters are never out of range.

        The loaches were sold to me as cold water fishies…. I do also have a tropical tank so could easily move them, but not sure as they have always lived with my goldies. When i say loach i mean the sucker type flat fish that eat the algae on the side of the tank. Im so happy my fishy is better 🙂 thankyou for your responses and the info on this site is awsome, better than anywhere else i found.

        • Clementine
          Clementine December 27, 2015 at 11:46 pm - Reply

          That’s so great to hear Kimberly! You’re welcome anytime =)

          • Kimberly Hannaford December 28, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

            Disaster has struck 🙁 I put my fishy back in the tank this morning and he was so happy swimming COMPLETELY normally and enjoying himself I was super pleased with myself and left for the day feeling happy.

            Coming back the goldie has formed a c shape and was floating on the surface. Nitrates 20, amonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 6.8 (same as hospital tank) I have no idea what has caused this. I am devestated. I have moved him back into the hospital tank and retreated with salt and the goldfish medicine (supposed to treat bacterial and fungal infections). He has not moved other than now sitting on the bottom.

            I know his position indicates water quality, but the permaters are all normal.

            What am i missing? The only other thing i can think of is the stress has caused a surge in the bacterial infection heightening it?

            The other thing is that i have an open fire in the living room (where the tank is) no raising in temperature, but do you think the smoke could have poisoned him?

            Any advice most welcome as i am sad sad sad.

            • Clementine
              Clementine December 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

              It sounds to me like the pH is too low. A low pH will cause symptoms similar to bacterial infections the longer the fish is exposed to it. I don’t think the smoke is the cause. Sorry to hear he isn’t doing well =(

              • Kimberly Hannaford December 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

                Thanks for the quick response. I can put the ph 7.5 buffer in again, will this be too big a change from where he is at coming from 6.8?

                He is just on the bottom of the hospital tank looking dead but still breathing. Ive done a 50% water change in the hospital and added salt again for the evening, which is really helping his breathing and hopefully getting rid of any nasties if they are lurking

                The thing about the PH is that in the hospital tank he completely recovered and the PH was lower than in the main tank because of the buffer.

                I am thinking the more i do the more it will add to the stress.


                • Clementine
                  Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

                  I would definitely do the pH buffer gradually. But I think with a pH as low as yours it is mandatory. It sounds like you used it initially but not in the hospital tank? Going back and forth likely what is causing the relapse. Is your tap that low or just the tank water?

  53. Debbie Zerbinopoulod December 24, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Clementine ~~ I think he has turned the corner!!! He’s up and swimming, than God! Definitely not back to normal, but i do think he is on his way..I went and consulted a very sweet young man at Petco…spent about 20 min. I’ve changed 1/4 of the water for 2 days now. PH was good, ammonia a was at stress level. :/ Thank you so so much for all of your advice! I have several furbabies, whom I love dearly, but he is my only fish and after 6 years, I have become very attached! 😉
    Wonderful that you are willing to be such a Godsend to we all inclusive pet lovers!! Merry Christmas and thank u again!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      That’s awesome to hear, Debbie! So happy to hear he is doing better. Happy fish keeping =)

  54. Farhan December 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    I have a goldfish that lives by itself in a fish bowl. It used to frequently jump out of the bowl but had ceased dying so lately. But now, it stinks to the bottom and keeps swimming sideways. Moreover, it has a red bull near its mouth. It is also losing its scales and colour. It also send to be rapidly taking in water to breathe We change the water nearly thrice a week by removing 50-100% of the water. We have no filter out water condition testing kit.
    Any help would be much appreciated as this situation is distressing. Thankyou.
    PS we had another goldfish that jumped out of the water and dried up. We found it under our sofa when we came home.:'(

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 25, 2015 at 12:43 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear about that, Farhan =( Goldfish jump out of bowls because bowls aren’t good homes for them. They become very toxic quickly because there is not enough water or surface area. Many times they suffer with lack of oxygen. My advice would be to get a filter and a tank of at least 10 gallons and change the water in it every day until the filter becomes established. Then you can reduce the water changes to one time a week. Also, be sure not to overfeed or the water can get messed up. Hope this helps =)

  55. Connie manny December 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I believe my fish has constipation and I’ve been using the pea diet for 2 days now but she’s still having issues, how long does it usually take to get relief for them? How long do I continue pea diet? Her water is normal now although it was originally too cold

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 28, 2015 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Peas sadly aren’t the cure-all for constipation. They are a bit too high in protein to be of much help in offsetting the high protein diet most domestic goldfish eat. If the reason your goldfish is constipated has to do with a prolonged high-protein diet, it would be better to opt for fiber instead like lettuce or spinach. It may be that permanent damage has been done to the swim bladder, but I would also test the water too.

  56. Ellen December 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Great site information!, thank you. I have a fancy goldfish, appro 3 yrs old, I’ve never used salt in the tank- so how much do I use, I have a 30 gal tank, up until last week I had 2 fish, one died,, I don’t want to loose this one- it has a white/red growth inside of fan tail, and small whitish lumps?? On other areas of fins, I have been changing water regular also clean filters, I feed brine shrimp balls AM and flakes Pm. I’m not sure even how much to feed but seems like I do ok Help -thank you

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you Ellen! =) For guidelines on feeding you might want to check out our article on the subject. If you see growth or lumps, likely those are tumors and are resistant to salt. Usually tumors are an indication of a water quality problem that likely has to do with overfeeding.

  57. Jamie December 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Please help! We have an amazing goldfish that we have had for a very long time. We just moved him from a 10 gallon (not so clean) tank to a wonderful 20 gallon brand new tank. There seems to be some clear-ish slime on him, the plants and the filter…..what is this and how do I fix it before it kills him? I’m desperate! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

  58. Jamie December 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Cont’d……not sure if this is related but today he had a long brown trail of poo……

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      If the poo was brown and not clear than that’s a good sign. But I would definitely be changing the water on his new tank every day as the bacteria colony gets established. Cleanliness is the key 😉

      • Jamie December 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

        So I should not be worried about the slime on humans the rest of the tank?

  59. Jamie December 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    “Him” not humans…….boy, that would be an issue! Lol!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Ha ha! =D Well I’d clean it off. It’s not algae so it doesn’t serve a good purpose.

      • Jamie December 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

        Clean the actual slime off and change the water? Or clean the slime off by changing the water?

        • Clementine
          Clementine December 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply


  60. Fatma December 30, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    How do you treat an ulcer in a fan tails head please?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      That’s hole-in-the-head. You can learn how to treat it from this article. =)

  61. Nigel December 31, 2015 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Hi there

    I’ve got two fantail ish fish about ten cm from head to end of tail in a roughly two gallon tank with a big filter.
    I’m not so sure about the efficacy of the filter it has no charcoal or anything in it, it just sucks the water in from the bottom, runs it thru a sponge and pushes it out the top mixed with air.
    Anyway I went away and put a feeding block in the tank, came back 5 days later and the water was a weird slightly red tinge, I changed as much of the water as I could and fish looked fine.
    This morning tho one of the fish had taken to sitting at the bottom of the tank not doing anything and breathing quite rapidly.
    I put the fish in a bucket and cleaned the tank and filter out completely and replaced the fish but he is still sitting on the bottom of the tank rapid breathing.
    Apart from that he looks healthy. Could this be constipation?


    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Hey Nigel, it sounds like ammonia/nitrite poisoning to me. For two fantails it is recommended to have a tank size of at least 20 gallons. Less than that, and you are looking at a situation where it will be almost impossible to keep the water quality safe, even with a filter. A feeding block would serve to pollute the water even more and tip things over the edge. Keep changing the water until you can upgrade your tank would be my advice =)

  62. Maddy December 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    My goldfish is in a 2.5 gallon tank. My parents say that he’s fine I say 10 gallon. He has red spots and is sitting at the top. We changed the water last night. He is always really active and I’ve grown attached. Please help!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      I think until you can get a bigger tank the best thing to do would be to change the water from the bottom of the tank every day and clean the filter, trying to keep the water as clean as possible. Hope your little guy turns around!

  63. Maddy December 31, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Also my goldfish has little air bubbles on its fins. It are but it wasn’t as happy as it normally is when it sees me (usually it swims around like crazy when it sees me and then comes to the surface for food) he only figured out the food comes at the top a month ago. I got him at the fair and he’s been fine. I treat every other day with .5 miligram of Melafix from Api and after every water change conditioner. I’ve read that Melafix is a better preventative than a cure. Last night he was slow swimming and floating at the top although he was fine for about 1 hour after his water change. This Morning he has red spots on his two back belly fins. He’s a comet. (I call him a he but I don’t really know) He had brown spots on his tail two months ago but after a few weeks of Melafix they slowly went away. His water is completely changed weekly. I think it is ammonia or nitrate/nitrite poisoning. As I mentioned earlier he is in a 2.5 gallon tank I have a 5 gallon with a filter (5.5 I think) but my mom had a goldfish and she says he is ok in his little tank. Hers lived for 7 years in a bowl. I really like my little fish. Thanks in advance. Also what types of salt are acceptable?

  64. Maddy December 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    We don’t have a filter. I feel bad but if I provide the food and stuff my grandma might take my fish she has a five gallon tank with a filter. Would that help? His top fin is clamped down. I just releaized. Any treatments that might help him?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Just water changes every day would help. You have to do that if you don’t have a filter especially. Maybe your grandma could give you her tank? That would be better than 2 gallons. Most goldfish don’t make it in a bowl though once in a while there are exceptions. Clamped fins means the fish is irritated.

      • Maddy December 31, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

        Thanks so much! I will change it tonight too.

        • Maddy December 31, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

          I wanted to add that we cleaned my fish’s tank last night. He swam around for an hour or two and then bam he got all lethargic. And then this morning I saw the red spots. Just wanted to make sure you knew that (it might be important I really don’t know… ) sorry for repeating myself if I already said that. My browser won’t show my one long message.

          • Maddy December 31, 2015 at 10:12 pm - Reply

            He isn’t eating anymore he ate then spit it out I don’t think he did that this morning and I’m not so sure that there are air bubbles on his fins. They look like little white spots but he isn’t flashing or itching and they weren’t there until last night.

            • Clementine
              Clementine December 31, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

              The red spots happen as a result of bad water. It’s hard to tell what the little white spots are without a photo. If he doesn’t eat, don’t feed. In a small space it is very easy to overfeed and that can cause more harm than good. He won’t be hungry, goldfish can live for weeks without food.

              • Maddy January 2, 2016 at 5:14 am - Reply

                He has red on his fins and is now gasping. I did a 80% water change dec 31 and a 25% Jan 1. I added Melafix and water conditioner and haven’t fed him anything. He hangs at the bottom. He seems alert but lethargic. Should I stop with the Melafix?

                • Maddy January 2, 2016 at 5:26 am - Reply

                  Also he has ragged fin edges. I am getting a water test kit tomorrow.

                  • Clementine
                    Clementine January 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

                    Yes I would stop with the Melafix. Just clean water is what your fish needs.

                    • Maddy January 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

                      I know I’m probably really annoying but do you think he might make it? Does he have a chance?

                    • Clementine
                      Clementine January 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

                      Goldies are hardier than most people give them credit for. They have been known to survive extreme situations that other fish wouldn’t have made it through. Only time will tell but if you keep the water clean for him that’s really the key =)

  65. Emma December 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Hello, I recently got two goldfish from a friend and have set them in a 10 gallon tank (I can’t afford anything bigger) Lately, one fish seems to have black spots and veins on his fins, sometimes clamping his top fin to him as he swims – and the other seems to have some sort of black scar (not a spot, a scar, which makes me wonder) We’ve decided its probably high ammonia levels and we’ve changed their tank water (including an easier way to get rid of ammonia-filled poop) and threw in 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt for good measure. However, now they show a disinterest in eating and seem to hover at the bottom of the tank, occasionally going through a little tunnel we have made for them. Their actions almost point out as if their brains were gone.
    We’ve thought that maybe the cause for the scar was because we have three lava rocks ornamenting our tank, and maybe in the fish’s fright as we fed them or something he cut himself on one of the rocks. However, I myself am not completely sure.
    If it helps as well, the one with the scar is an orange common goldfish and the ones with the black fins is a small white goldfish with an orange patch on its top (not sure if fancy or not)

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2015 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      You are probably right about the ammonia poisoning. I would test the water for it and regardless change the water each day at least 50%, being sure to remove the poop. If you have a filter be sure to clean it too. However I would not add any more salt because messing with salinity can cause stress, what they need is good water so they can heal. You may also want to consider removing anything in the tank that could cause potential injury, but if the rocks are smooth than they are fine. 🙂

  66. Maria amaro January 2, 2016 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hey my goldfish hasn’t ate for a couple of days and it doesn’t poop. He got chunky and it seems like if she has a ball on its sides. It also has 3 spots that has open and it seem like it’s skin is falling off in those white spots.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 2, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

      If I understand you right, Maria, it sounds to me like your goldfish is losing scales? Not sure what you mean about a ball, is that like a growth? Do tell 😉

  67. Mirika January 2, 2016 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Hi! I have a (about) 75 gallon tank with 6 goldfish.
    I recently discovered that my fantail (Speckles) has a slight bulging eye, a red patch underneath her scales (near her gills) and sort of pine-coning at the scales near her gills (other than that the rest of her body is fine). The bulge of her eye had become more pronounced after about a few days and we only really noticed it now.
    Prior to this she was also slightly bloating abnormally; we fed her peas, treated the water and she was fine afterwards.
    The other fish have not been affected by any of this either (we have two comets which are usually rough with each other and another 3 fantails which are much more passive)
    Is there any other effective treatment besides regularly changing the water and treating it with antibiotics? I read everywhere and they all say it will be terminal and I really do not want that to happen before I leave for my exchange.
    [Note: I change my water every 7 days and usually it’s a 50%-80% change due to our tank being outside rather than inside.)

    Anyway, thank you for the page! It was really helpful and I’m thankful I had found it just now! Thank you very much!

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 2, 2016 at 4:45 am - Reply

      You are more than welcome, Mirika =) My first question would be… have you tested the water? I would also need to know a bit more about your filtration, substrate (if any) and normal diet to be able to be of any help.

      • Mirika January 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

        I don’t think we have tested the water; perhaps because my dad always says “They’re just goldfish. They’re meant to be hardy, they’re fine.” So we have been unable to spend the money on the water testers. (Expensive in Australia…)
        I’ll try and get my hands on a kit as soon as possible!
        The usual diet normally consists of fish flakes and the occasional peas so they don’t become constipated due to the dry food.

        And if you could expand on your filtration/substrate point I might be able to explain it better. 🙂

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

          Usually the local fish store will do it for you free. As far as filtration goes, I mean do you have a filter or any gravel at the bottom of the tank?

          • Mirika January 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

            Yes, we have a filter and yes, we have gravel on the bottom of the tank.

            Actually, recently I had checked on her (it has been raining in AUS; so I had difficulties going outside to check up on her condition.) And I had noticed an improvement on her health! Her eye is slowly going back in (less pronounced than previously), the red spot underneath her scales has almost vanished and the bloating near her gills has actually flattened down to her body.
            I am really unbelievably relieved right now!
            Thank you for your help and your page, it’s amazing! 🙂

            If I have any more troubles with my fish, I’ll be sure to contact you for assistance!

            Thank you once again! 😀

            • Clementine
              Clementine January 5, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

              Awesome. Glad to hear that Mirika.

  68. Akhil January 2, 2016 at 11:14 am - Reply

    my goldfish is having red spots in tail and fins & splits in tail and fins on a large scale

    My goldfish is about to die in a few days how can I save her.

    Please help

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      Those sound like the classic symptoms of water quality issues, Akhil. Please test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH so you know what is going on and then change thew water right away.

  69. Maria amaro January 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I meant that he got chunky but from the sides of the goldfish I can see that he has white patches but if I look close to it , I see his scales and skin are coming out. Also from the sides of the goldfish it seems like if it forms a ball. He doesn’t float either and he can’t control his movement he’s always falling to the side. He doesn’t eat either. Hope you can help.

  70. Maria amaro January 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    He has a bump on each side. ..

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Maybe you should post a question in the health concerns forum. Then you can upload a pic so I can see what you’re talking about.

  71. dawn January 2, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I had 2 large KOI, one was an 8 inch comet, the second is a large, about a 6 inch fancy fantail goldfish. The comet became ill about a month ago, his tail and fins looked shredded, blood streaks, scales missing, he became sluggish. I checked for ammonia, nitrates, nitrites. all read normal. I did daily water changes, he began gasping with respirations, weakened and died. My fancy fantail has some scale loss, swims,but also spends a lot of time on the bottom of the tank. There are some fine blood streaks it her tail. I feel like her appetite is poor. I am worried. I am doing water changes about every 7 to 10 days. I am afraid of using medication as I am not sure of what the problem is. There have been times I thought I saw like a white “fur” on her head. It is a 55 gallon aquarium, what do you recommend?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 4:35 am - Reply

      I would recommend changing the water and cleaning the filter right away, Dawn. And if you have gravel remove it. Did you check the pH? And would you mind clarifying exact water parameters? Oh and don’t forget to reduce feeding. 😉

  72. cherie January 2, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    I moved my 4 goldies into a new tank in November and up until now water parameters have been good. I have one common and one comet in a 55g and one common about 4-5 inches and a comet about 3 inches in a 60g, the 60g also has a white minnow. Throughout the month of December water parameters have been relatively good, I just checked the water today and both tanks show signs of concern. The nitrate in the 55 has spiked to 5 while ammonia and nitrite ar at 0. In the 60 g ammonia is at .50, nitrite 2 or 5, hard to tell using API test kit, and nitrate 0.

    This is concerning me, could me adding lettuce to the tank be the cause. I am thinking of adding another filter. I only feed them once a day and only what the can eat in under a minute.

    Another question these are the goldies I am learning with, have ha them for 2 – 3 years and they have seemed to stop growing. When we first got them they were in a 5 g, then I moved two to a 20 g and two into a 100 g tank with my turtle. Now they have their own tanks as mentioned above, the ones from the turtle tank went into the 60 and the ones from the 20 went into the 55.

    They were actually meant to be turtle food but for some reason my turtle doesn’t eat live prey so they became pets instead.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 4:40 am - Reply

      No lettuce wouldn’t cause that. But depending on your water change schedule and possibly how much you are feeding of processed foods that could be an issue. Water quality does have a direct tie to growth…

      • cherie January 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

        I do 30-40% weekly water changes,have been doing this since getting the tanks, and have cut back on the amount of food. I am also noticing red blotches on one of my fish. I am doing a 80-90% water change on both tanks today. I have never had a problem with water quality before, could it be the amount of rain we are getting, we use well water. Our state has reached its yearly rainfall in only a couple of months, and we had to disinfect our well because the flood water caused some type of bacteria, the results came back negative for bacteria after disinfecting, but we are still getting quite a bit of rain. We do not have chlorine in our well.

        I will test the water again after water change.

        Thank you so much for this site, I am super glad I found you.

      • cherie January 3, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

        I have always made sure water quality was good, even when they were in there 5 gallon tank.

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

          That’s really important =) I’d be sure to check the pH with all that rain water.

          • cherie January 4, 2016 at 2:53 am - Reply

            pH is 7.6-7.8

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

              Change the water each day and make sure the filter is clean would be my advice. In nearly every case of a sick goldfish the cause is the water, the other bit is food related.

              • Cherie January 5, 2016 at 7:37 pm - Reply

                Thanks, parameters seem to be going down in the 60 g. Did another Water change before work today and the added filter seems to be doing some good. Ammonia at 0 and nitrites from what I can tell are at 2, haven’t tested nitrates yet.

                I think the problem in the 55g is the filter, I noticed it needed changing, but I have to wait until amazon delivers my replacement cartridgds , no one around where I live sells replacements for the type of filter I have.

                Thank you so much and sorry I am bugging you to death, just worried about my little guys.

                • Clementine
                  Clementine January 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

                  Glad things are getting better. Keep that filter clean! 😉

  73. Alison January 4, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Hello, I recently introduced my comet goldfish to 5 new fish in a bigger tank.She was doing fine but then began sitting on the bottom of the tank but still coming up to the surface to eat. She was being nipped by other fish so i moved her to a different tank by herself. She began having red streaks in her fins and on her scales, I did 50% water changes but she still wasn’t making any improvement so i gave her a drop of quick cure for about 3 days and the red in her fins and scales began to fade but she was still sitting at the bottom and i have realized that she is only using one of her gills and also spasms. She comes to the surface for food but only spits it back out. I checked her mouth and she has a lump but i’m not sure what it is or if its what’s preventing her from eating. Please help.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      What size is your tank and how often do you clean the filter, Alison? Any gravel and what’s regular feeding look like?

      • Alison January 5, 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply

        I moved her to a 2 gallon tank. I recently got a new filter(about a week). She is feed every morning and small to medium coloured rocks .

  74. Andrew January 5, 2016 at 1:30 am - Reply

    I have what looks to be a veiltail gold fish for over a year now and yesterday he became ill. I have a 10 gallon tank that the goldfish shares with a smaller fish for the past year. I do a weekly 10% water change as my store recommend. Yesterday’s I noticed that he was floating horizontal to the surface of the water. So I did a 60% water change thinking it was my water quality. I could only do 60% because where I live we don’t have city water. We use cisterns. I have never used cistern water in my tank even though it goes trough 2 stages of filtration and a uv light cause of the fear of contaminants and chlorine we
    sometimes add. I have used drinking water that comes in 5 gallon bottles and currently don’t have any till Thursday. This morning he was looking better but right now he won’t even eat. I have noticed the red vains on his tale since I got him but nothing I have done has seemed to cure it. It comes and goes. Fearing I have high ammonia or nitrate I removed him from the 10 gallon tank and placed him in a 2 gallon container full of the last fresh drinking water I have along with an air stone set on low. I really don’t want to lose the fish is there anything I can do?. Also how do I tell if it’s a male or female? Thanks

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 5, 2016 at 4:17 am - Reply

      Hi Andrew, what the pet store told you is not good advice sorry to say. 10% weekly is not nearly enough to be of much use. I would keep the fish in the 10 gallon and do daily water changes if at all possible. That is because the 2 gallon will accumulate ammonia much faster than the 10 gallon. And for that space you really should only have one fish (not to sound bossy 😉 ) Sexing can’t really be done until breeding season, but if you see small white dots on the gills and front fin rays then it is a male =)

      • Andrew January 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

        Is there anything I can do to make her feel better? I just changed all the water and clean the bottom of any particles in the gravel. I also cleaned the filter. I have also noted that she is peeling on her find and tails. How much of the water should I change today and on a daily basis? Is she going to be OK or is she most likely going to die?

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 5, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

          Change 50% each day. It may be too late… if the fish is clearly not going to make it it might be kinder to euthanize. Of course only you can make that call.

  75. Maddy January 5, 2016 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Good news my goldfish is back to normal. Swimming around and he ate a fish flake. He doesn’t have red on his fins anymore either. I’m thinking of feeding him 1fish flake and a frozen bloodworm or two in the morning and one pellet in the evening. The bloodworms are tiny. Thank you so much for your help! He probably would be dead by now if it weren’t for you!

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

      Woohoo =D

  76. Archisman Datta January 5, 2016 at 7:14 am - Reply


    I bought a gold fish 5-6 months back. But today morning i found my fish not responding to anything. it is just breathing and doing nothing. very much worried about it. kindly suggest somethin. I have changed the water , used fresh mineral water, added some salt, still got no response. kindly help

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Change the water every day like you did and be sure to remove any gravel, clean the filters etc.

  77. tasha January 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    I just got 3 goldfish. Today the one looks as though half the scales on its tail is missing. Like half the tail is wispy. And it had long stringy poop. There hasn’t been any bullying. What do I do?

    • tasha January 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      White poo

      • Clementine
        Clementine January 7, 2016 at 1:16 am - Reply

        What size is your tank, tasha, and did you cycle it ahead of time?

        • tasha January 7, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

          Yes I cycled it and it is a 3 or 5 gallon half moon shape. I know they need a bigger tank but they are tiny fish so I figured it would work till I got something bigger. Honestly, I got them from Walmart and my daughter is 2 and picked out the one fish. I noticed 2 dead fish in the tank so I bought the remaining 3 to get them outta there. I felt bad. I’ve had them since Sunday. They eat, swim, seem happy n healthy until I noticed this. I don’t have a water test kit, I don’t know what I should do. I don’t want them to die, I was trying to save them

          • Clementine
            Clementine January 7, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

            It was nice of you to try to help them. What you can try to do until you can get them a bigger tank is change the water 50% or more each day to get out all of the waste.

            • tasha January 7, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

              How big of a tank should I get? The biggest one might be an inch and a half long in length.

              • tasha January 7, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

                And one more question, when I change their water and add a water conditioner should I remove them from the tank while doing this?

                • Clementine
                  Clementine January 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm - Reply

                  If your fish are slim-bodied, meaning like a comet or common, they should have 40 gallons each because they grow so large though they start out small. If they are fancies then they should have 10 to 20 gallons each. And no, it isn’t necessary to remove them, just kind of work around them ha ha.

  78. Lakshmi January 7, 2016 at 6:10 am - Reply

    i have six gold fishes out of them 4 are small ones…my all 4 small goldfishes are red spots all over their body from yesterday and they hav also been very inactive from the past 2 days…i dont understand..i have them from 1 year and this is the first time happening. plz help me.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      What size is your tank, Lakshmi, and how often do you typically change the water?

  79. Lakshmi January 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    1.5×2…every month

  80. Lakshmi January 7, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    once every month. The last time i changed the water was 2 days ago

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      Oh you definitely want to change more often than that. Do you mean your tank is 1.5 gallons?

  81. Lakshmi January 8, 2016 at 12:43 am - Reply

    no these are the dimensions of the tank in ft.

  82. Lakshmi January 8, 2016 at 12:44 am - Reply

    the thing is i have been changing it once a month since more than a year now and this has never happened before.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 8, 2016 at 5:05 am - Reply

      I would advise increasing water changes. If the fish aren’t well something is most likely wrong with the water. Weekly is the advised frequency. It sounds like your tank is around 20-30 gallons, for 6 goldfish it is advised to have at least 60 gallons (if they are fancies.) Hope this helps =)

  83. Aaisha January 8, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    hi there. i got a few comet goldfish, and i noticed recently that one of them has a white bump at the base of its tale. i guess it is a tumor, but how should they be cured?thanks!

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 4:57 am - Reply

      Are you sure it is a tumor? Sometimes white bumps can be an immune response or a parasite. But if it is a tumor you may want to check out our diseases page for info on that.

  84. beckie January 10, 2016 at 7:31 am - Reply

    hello, i had a few goldfish but one of the goldfish ate every goldfish i put in the tink. i clean it once a week, it always swimming to corner to corner every second of every day and night, and even when i clean the tank the goldfish always try and jump out the tank. now its a full grown adult fish now, i more concered that it not eating, leaven it to the floor then 10-15 mins later it will start eating it. the stumack has gone alot bigger. now the fish is starting to get air from top of the tank even if it got a pump in the water to give it oxegen, can someone help me thanks. sorry my english not good i am dyslexic.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      You may want to try testing the water, Beckie, and making sure your tank is large enough =) I can’t see your setup so if you could tell me a bit more that would help.

  85. Ann January 11, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    I have a 10 gal tank that have 4 of the small goldfish in them. Everything was fine until the water turned cloudy and begin to stink. The fish then started surfacing for air. After searching the web, i did a 50 percent water change, changed the filter and added an airstone. The fish seemed to get better. A couple days later one of the fish started swimming frantically around the tank. It later died. After the fish died i did another 50 percent water change. Now the other fish are swimming frantically. Tested water and parameters are fine. Also the fish doesnt seem to be eating since i brought them from the pet store. They seem to spit the pellets out. I only had the fish about a week

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 11, 2016 at 4:19 am - Reply

      Hi Ann! I’m afraid the main reason why you are having problems is because your tank has too many fish in it. It will be very difficult for you to keep the water clean for very long. But until you can get a bigger tank or cut down the number of fish you have in there, the best thing you can do (emergency measures) is change the water every day. The most common strip tests don’t include ammonia, but even if your tank tests 0 ppm for it you will still want to do these water changes.

      As far as spitting goes… that’s pretty common with pet store fish, which are not quarantined and treated for flukes before being passed off to their owners. But I wouldn’t go for trying to treat them for it until they are no longer showing symptoms of water poisoning.

  86. Nali January 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Hi there. so i have 2 goldfish in a big tank with an o2 machine and a filter.Today was the first time i changed the water since i first got them wich was a week ago. When i put them back into the tank wich i added a large piece of homemade driftwood into they both started breathing very rapidly .so should i be worried

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      They may have gotten stressed from being moved around. It could also be that you didn’t condition the water first or something else is amiss. I would need to know more about your setup to be able to help 🙂

  87. Alex January 11, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    I have an oranda and he has a white fluffy bump on his head like symptom 27 and I only have 7 days to cure him before I leave the country what should I do ?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 11, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Sometimes that’s a sign of an immune response, Alex, but you may want to check out our disease treatment article that covers treating fungus.

  88. Nevara January 12, 2016 at 12:17 am - Reply

    What really can you do for the worms do you just take them to the store or the vet or how do you get it treated????

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 12, 2016 at 4:34 am - Reply

      Anchor worm treatment is covered on our article, 17 diseases here. I think it’s number 3. 🙂

  89. Serena January 12, 2016 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Hi, love this site! Question: in the space of 48 hours, one of my goldfish became lethargic, was “mouthing” (like panting) , seemed vacant, & died. All other fish in the tank are fine – energetic & eating etc. in the last 5 months, he has sired 2 lots of babies, and then changed colour in full (from black to gold). I feed them flakes or peas – they’d had flakes the last couple days so had peas yesterday. water was changed 4 days ago, and regularly before that. I didn’t medicate – just reduced tank food & swapped to peas. He didn’t seem constipated as did big poop yesterday (sorry!!). Previous goldfish I’ve had lived for 9 years. What are your thoughts as it happened so quickly – (blood around edges of gills after he died). Constipation? Bacterial infection? Exhaustion(!!)?. Do you think the others are at risk? Appreciate any ideas. Thanks S

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks 🙂 How big was the tank, Serena, and how much/often did you normally change of the water? It sounds like an ammonia/nitrite spike to me.

  90. Nali January 12, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Hi and thanks for the advice but i have an other question one of my goldfish long thin and white poop should i be worried

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Casts are normal in fish that have a healthy tank. But long trailing poop can indicate a problem with the water or parasites.

  91. Rejoy January 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    My common goldfish has a little bit of red in its fins. The same thing happened to another fish which died recently.. This is my 5th fish. Pls help. The tank is pretty big

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Change the water right away. Red fins indicate water quality issues.

  92. Matt R January 13, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply


    My fantail fancy gold fish has been acting very lethargic recently. This really started about 2 days ago when I noticed she wasn’t as active as the others and started to develop 3 small black spots on her left side. I also noticed that one of her rear fins had a small tear in it, when she ate, she ate alone far from the rest of the group. Then yesterday as I was doing my daily feed, she was very interested in eating but just didn’t have much energy to compete with the rest of the group. I managed to feed her by hand but as she was eating, she was just floating aimlessly and without much direction. At one point she allowed her fins to be caught in the filter suction pipe and didn’t even have much interest in swimming out of it. I of course saw this right away and put her in a small tank on her own. I don’t see any sign of bulging eyes or dropsy. The ammonia levels are very low and I do a 10-15 % water change each week. We have 5 fan tails in a 75 gallon tank.

    Any idea of what the issue could be? She has had bladder issues in the past, so much that I had to put her on a strict diet and even fast her for a few days. This was months ago.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 14, 2016 at 4:43 am - Reply

      Hi Matt. When you say your ammonia is very low, could it be that you are getting any reading there at all? Very low ammonia is still dangerous to goldies and causes the kind of symptoms you are seeing. The amount of water that is being changed each week isn’t significant enough to be of very much use, so I would advise upping that and also changing the water now at least 50% and daily thereafter until you see improvement.

      • Matt January 14, 2016 at 5:33 am - Reply

        Yes we are getting a reading. My wife told me after posting this message that according to the readings everything is where it needs to be according to our testing kit. We are using the api master testing kit.

        The fish is now on its side. Not being very active at all, I was able to feed the fish a couple pellets which I hope is a good sign. My wife said the fish has been like this most of the day, when the fish did see me it tried its best to straighten up for about 10 mins then gave up.

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 14, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

          Yeah if you’ve got ammonia readings change the water ASAP and do not feed until the ammonia is gone.

          • Matt R January 14, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

            Hey Clementine, I appreciate your response. The testing kit did not read abnormal ammonia levels. The water is completely fine. After separating her from the pack and keeping her in an isolation tub for the night the fish is back up straight but is still very lethargic. I’ll just keep monitoring throughout the day. Thanks.

  93. Alex January 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I have two goldfish, 1 oranda and 1 black moor. I was wondering how can I figure out their gender?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 14, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      For starters, Alex, a goldfish’s sex can’t be determined until they are at least 1 year old. But during breeding season, males get white speckles on their gills and front fins and females have a larger vent.

  94. Alex January 14, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Oh okay thanks. Also my oranda has black marks on her tail, I’ve read about this and it seems to be ammonia burns. That started a couple weeks ago so I’ve been doing large water changes every 4 days. Then a couple days ago my black moor looked like a couple of its scales have come off on the sides and more keep disappearing. What could be the cause of this? I haven’t done water tests yet because my test kit should be arriving in the mail any day now, but are there any possible things that it could be that you can think of?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 14, 2016 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      If you are having an ammonia issue, every 4 days is not enough for a water change. Try upping to every day 50% to 90%. 🙂

  95. Casey January 15, 2016 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Hi i have a goldfish that has four light grey clouds on it from its gill to its tail and it has been really perky and is swimming with its 2 front fins by hopping. It also looks like it has lost half of its tail. Please help me it was a christmas present?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 16, 2016 at 2:22 am - Reply

      What size is the tank, Casey? If the tank was not pre-cycle before you got the fish you might be facing an ammonia problem.

  96. Joni January 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Hi, so my panda goldfish started looking sad 5 days ago, I noticed his fins had started to disappear (all white with black tips, the black was disappearing) so I moved him out of his community tank into a hospital tank (30lt) I started treating him for fin rot and made sure the water was perfect ammonium 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate 0. Once in the hospital tank he just sits at the bottom, sometime moving slightly and gets himself under the extra oxygen I have provided. I noticed day 2 that he has blood spots on between his body and top fin (these are getting worse) and has pulled all his fins close to his body. He is eating when I put the food at the end of his nose but won’t go looking for it. This morning I decided to also treat him with multi-cure incase its something else (had white spot about 1 month ago) I test my tanks once a week and make sure the water quality is ideal. Not sure what’s wrong with him, all other fish happy as normal. Help!

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 16, 2016 at 2:25 am - Reply

      What is your normal water change schedule like, Joni, and how much do you normally feed? Also, what size tank do you have and is it filtered and cycled?

  97. Alex January 17, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I’ve been doing large water changes everyday, but my black moor is getting worse. He’s lethargic staying at the top of the tank (not really gasping for air so much, more so just breathing heavily), his fins are clamped, and I woke up this morning and his dorsal fin is now frayed at the ends.

  98. tasha January 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    All 3 of my fish are energetic and seem healthy since I last posted. Last week I noticed black on the tail of my fancy fish. Today its on another fish and on its body some too? I do about a 70% water change every cpl days. They aren’t acting sick like anything is wrong. What is this?!?!

  99. Angela January 20, 2016 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Why does my gold fish just stop at the bottom of the tank and doesn’t move at all…it’s not on its side so I know it’s still alive. It looks like it’s tired and is resting on the rocks but is that normal

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      No, that’s not normal. Bottom sitting is an indication of an ammonia problem.

  100. mika January 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    hi! i have a goldfish, and it seems to have problems swimming around… When its body stops moving, he just like, floats up to the surface like a ballon.. I’m not sure if it’s natural, but it also has a little big belly… Would that be the cause? Or maybe the food… It’s been like this for a few months now.. And i’ve had that goldfish for around 4 years now.. Is it maybe the age?? I really hope you can help.. When I’m not looking, sometimes he acts like he’s dead, by floating on the surface of the water, and I have to snap in my fingers to make him back to swim.. I’m quite worried.. I hope you can help..

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 21, 2016 at 5:07 am - Reply

      Hi mika, it sounds like an issue with the swim bladder. That is usually linked to diet, so you may want to check out our feeding article to make sure your fish isn’t having protein buildup! =)

      • mika January 21, 2016 at 6:39 am - Reply

        thanks sooooo much for replying!! 😀 I just checked the article out and it seemed to have ALOT of information I’ve never even heard about! So i’m feeding the goldfishies flakes right now, but you recommend pellets right?? (I do have an aquarium plant, but I din’t know you can use lettuce!!) So if I get pellets, I should feed each goldfish (I have two) around 3 pellets…. Right? Anyway, thanks so much for helping!!

        • Clementine
          Clementine January 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

          Yeah that is right about the pellets =) And you’re welcome!

  101. Aron January 22, 2016 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I have 4 common goldfish in a 29 gallon tank I know its smaller than it should be but they all seem to be fine but one who use to be the “leader” now he is acting very strange will go to bottom of tank and just float to top fast swims in circle’s I haven’t tested the water other than these things he acts fine eats and swims like normal just wondering if you may know what’s wrong with him don’t really want him to die

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 23, 2016 at 2:17 am - Reply

      Afraid the water volume isn’t enough for that many fish, Aron, and likely you are dealing with an overloaded system. A 29 gallon tank is not really even enough space for one common goldfish, sadly :/ What you can do though is change the water.

      • Aron January 23, 2016 at 5:49 am - Reply

        Thank you I did change the water today and moved things around in the tank he seems to be acting better but will keep an eye on him these fish just won’t stop growing I can’t keep up with them thank you again for your input

  102. Sian January 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Hello, I’ve got a poorly goldfish. It had fungal infection which I have successfully treated (the white has disapeard) the problem now is that it sits on the bottom of the tank and the anus is swollen and I’ve just noticed a red tinge to the inside. This is day two and I’m worried it might be terminal. Its in a 19ltr tank with regular changes, only fed once a day with flakes, there is another goldfish with it.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 23, 2016 at 4:47 am - Reply

      Your tank size is likely a big part of why your fish aren’t well, Sian. Each fancy should have at least 10 gallons…er, sorry, I mean 37liters. My advice is to get a bigger tank and up the water changes, your fish will thank you for it!

  103. tasha January 23, 2016 at 3:40 am