😷 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. Β You can use a simple test kit like this oneΒ 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 β€œdrink” 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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Rating 4.5 90%

3. Jumping out of the tank: Sometimes incorrectly called β€œgoldfish 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. πŸ˜‰ β€œFlashing” 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 β€œyawning” 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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Rating 4.5 90%

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 β€œout” 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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Rating 4.5 90%

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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Rating 4.5 90%

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."

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Rating 4.5 90%

Join the Fastest Growing Goldfish Facebook Group toΒ 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! πŸ™‚

4.5 90% from 114 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%


  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ™‚

      • 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
        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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
      • Adriana January 19, 2019 at 6:26 am - Reply

        Hello, I first got my goldfish many months ago probably like 6-8 months ago it’d a lion goldfish and was really healthy and was really happy when I bough it, well a couple months go by and my fish is doing great an then my parents buy me another goldfish, but this one didn’t seem in the best quality since they bought it out of a poorly made aquarium shop. Unfortunately my lion goldfish is starting to get really sick since it wasn’t like that before. I’m pretty sure it’s not my aquarium water since I always do my water cycles in time and change the filter when it’s supposed to be changed, and it’s more weird that my other goldfish is doing great and is healthy but my lion goldfish is pretty bad. I started to notice that my lion goldfish got black marks on its fins and with that it started to get worse with the fins looking torn and having white/greenish spots that have been spreading all over her fins. I really don’t know what it is I’ve searched and idk if it’s fungus or if it’s fin rot, i just really want some help?!?!

        Rating: 5
        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish January 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm - Reply

          Did you test the ammonia?

  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,


    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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…


    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ™ any ideas on what to do?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ™

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. …

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ˜‰

  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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…

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish 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?

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 :(.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. :'(

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ˜‰

  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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).

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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



    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 68Β°. 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!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. πŸ™ Please help.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?


    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 Pure Goldfish,

        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 πŸ™‚ thankyou for your responses and the info on this site is awsome, better than anywhere else i found.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ™ 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.

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish 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.


                • Pure Goldfish
                  Pure Goldfish 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

    Pure Goldfish ~~ 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! πŸ˜‰
    Wonderful that you are willing to be such a Godsend to we all inclusive pet lovers!! Merry Christmas and thank u again!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.:'(

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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……

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ˜‰

      • 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?

      • anita November 7, 2018 at 1:54 am - Reply

        What if it is clear?? my fantail appears to be constipated but there is a long clear trail coming from its back end and there appears to be air bubbles in it

        Rating: 4.5
        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish November 11, 2018 at 11:11 pm - Reply

          That is usually a sign of internal parasites.

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

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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?


    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish 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.

                  • Pure Goldfish
                    Pure Goldfish 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?

                    • Pure Goldfish
                      Pure Goldfish 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)

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. πŸ™‚

  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ˜‰

  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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. πŸ™‚

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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! πŸ™‚

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

            Thank you once again! πŸ˜€

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. ..

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. πŸ˜‰

  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish 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.

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

                  Glad things are getting better. Keep that filter clean! πŸ˜‰

  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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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?

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

      • Pure Goldfish
        Pure Goldfish 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

          • Pure Goldfish
            Pure Goldfish 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?

                • Pure Goldfish
                  Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 πŸ™‚

  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 ?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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????

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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. πŸ™‚

  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

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

      Thanks πŸ™‚ 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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 Pure Goldfish, 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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%. πŸ™‚

  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?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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..

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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!! πŸ˜€ 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!!

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish 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

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish 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 - Reply

    Oh my, my poor fish, getting them from Walmart was a bad idea, they have not been well ever. Now all 3 sit on the bottom of the tank, their top fin is clamped close to their body. One looks like it has white stuff on his face. I change over 60% water every other day. They are still coming up to eat yet they don’t seem to be eating as good the last meal. I checked the water, pH, alkalinity, nitrates, nitrites, hardness and everything is normal. I want to buy a bigger tank n stuff but money is an issue and I don’t wanna put more on my credit if they are gonna pass away the next day. Its sad, I dunno what to do! I need to heal my fishies!?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 23, 2016 at 5:09 am - Reply

      In this case my best advice, tasha, is to change the water every day. Be sure to read our feeding article if you haven’t already! Ammonia is the most important parameter too. You could also use other fish safe containers in a pinch when you are on a tight budget if they offer more space, that would really help πŸ™‚

  104. tasha January 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Woke up to one dead fish. I changed the water but now the remaining two are back on the tank bottom. Won’t eat, the one looks awful, worse than the recently deceased, I’ll probably be down to one by tomorrow, its horrible. And there is nothing to check the ammonia levels at any of my local stores, would the nitrites be bad if the ammonia is?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 25, 2016 at 4:50 am - Reply

      You could have nitrites without ammonia, yes. Sorry for your loss πŸ™

  105. Mason Knight January 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    My goldfish shows no signs of any of these problems, but is always swimming towards me in the bowl and opens and closes her mouth, is it just being friendly or is there something wrong with me my goldfish? Thanks.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 25, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

      If your goldfish is living in a bowl, likely it is experiencing irritation from the high ammonia levels. Goldfish will often push against the glass and exhibit the behavior you are describing in such a case.

  106. Rebecca January 27, 2016 at 8:47 am - Reply


    We have a 100litre tank with 6 goldfish varities including one sucker fish! I fed them some blood worms this morning, which i have done before but this afternoon noticed our white goldfish sitting at the bottom, we have lost a few fish over time all with the same symptoms of clamped fins and sitting at the bottom, however we still have some original fish from when we first started up the tank, and 98% of the time our water always tests perfect! The white goldfish Hazel, looks like her back fins are split/shredded and she keeps swimming fast to the top for gulps of air then sinking to the bottom again breathing heavy! All the others are perfectly fine! Could the blood worms have caused something so fast acting? As she appeared fine until today!

    It’s hard to lose fish over and over again, they may not love us but we sure love them! We’ve had hazel for a few months along with the others!!

    I’m not confident she’ll make it through the night!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 27, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Sorry to hear about that, Rebecca. I really think your fish are having water quality problems. The symptoms are exactly that, and water tests are not always the thing to go by because parameters rise and fall at different times throughout the day. Change the water right away, and if possible upgrade your tank size as soon as you can. For that many fish you should have at least 227 liters!

  107. S Mitra January 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    My gold fishes are lethargic, some got white spots, and some have reddish spots…. what to do ?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Hi S Mitra, you might be having an issue with water, or parasite attack. It’s hard to tell without more detail about your setup though…

      • S Mitra January 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

        top filter, air stone and heater at 28

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish January 27, 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

          What size tank is it, and how many fish, and have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH?

  108. Brennan January 29, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Today I discovered patches of missing scales on my fish. My fish is barely around 6 months old, and is still growing. He sits on the bottom of the tank often, so I test and treat the water (usually ammonia). He swims around normally for a day or two, then returns to his depressed state. When sitting on the bottom, sometimes turning the tank light off/on causes him to dart around the tank, hitting the edges. The only symptoms I can find from this list are missing scales and sitting on the bottom of the tank.

    Fish specs:
    6 Months Old
    Comet “Feeder” Fish
    5.5 Gallon Tank (shared with another fish sharing similar but less severe symptoms.)
    About 2.5 Inches Long
    1st Fish missing about 10 scales on right side, about 5 on the left
    2nd Fish missing around 5 scales on right side, none missing on left (as far as I can tell)
    Water is fairly clean and levels are within safe levels (sometimes for no apparent reason, ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate spikes.)

    I have a few questions that are nagging at me:
    1. Will my fish die? D:
    2. If he won’t, how is this treatable?
    3. Will his scales grow back normally?
    4. Is his life going to be shorter?
    5. If he isn’t going to survive will he be in pain?

    Thanks so much for your help,

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Brennan, missing scales are caused by the fish scratching themselves against things in the tank or on the tank sides, it’s a sign of irritation. Bottom sitting is a response to bad water quality in most cases. Now to answer your questions…

      1. It is possible. Prolonged exposure to ammonia is usually fatal if not addressed early.
      2. There is only one way to “treat” your fish, and that is by providing them with greater water volume and more frequent water changes. A 5.5 gallon tank sadly is not enough room even for one goldfish, they honestly shouldn’t sell them at the pet stores. Comets grow quite large and really need 40 gallons apiece to live comfortably, besides more water helping to dilute the toxins they excrete. You will continue to have ammonia and nitrite spikes as long as your fish are kept in this setup. Please take a look at our care guide article as a reference point.
      3. Only if the fish is kept in pristine water, yes they can grow scales back.
      4. If things stay as they are, yes. But if you decide to change things then your fish might live for many decades to come.
      5. Well… if he doesn’t survive, he won’t be in pain because he will be dead. Not quite sure what you mean by that. Your fish are probably in what we would call pain now, as ammonia burns them, it is like being in a pool of acid.

      You’re welcome, and hope this helps you πŸ™‚
      Pure Goldfish

  109. Claire January 29, 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    I have had my goldfish for two weeks. I’m not sure of the sex, but I think female. She’s been bloated for a few days but now she is just sitting at the bottom and appears to have powder/excess mucus on her skin. Last night she had a very long brown poo trailing behind her. I have checked the pH and the other fish in the tank is fine.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 31, 2016 at 4:46 am - Reply

      Hi Claire, did you cycle the tank beforehand? Also how big is the tan?

  110. Shannon January 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Yesterday, me and my family changed the water of our fish tank at 6:30 pm, which had turned green from too much food when we went on a 2-week trip, or so my friend says. We then placed our fish back into the tank. 10 minutes later, I noticed an unusual behavior: they were still on the bottom of the tank and had clamped fins, but they were still alive. My first thought was that they were resting or some sort, but I was wrong. My family and I went somewhere for an hour, and returned. When the rest of my family noticed that they were unusually still, my dad said the water was too cold for the tropical fish and tried to warm the tank up. Unfortunately, he was too late for one of the fish, who quickly died when we had returned. The next morning, the remaining 2 fish we upside down, fins clamped, and one had a red belly. My dad tried to remove the fish from the tank and replace them in a bowl of their old water. Soon, their fins no longer became clamped, but they still remained upside down. How can we solve this problem?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 31, 2016 at 4:50 am - Reply

      Solving the problem will depend on figuring out what caused it to begin with. If you will provide me with the tank size, number of fish in the tank, filtration, how long the tank has been set up, how much/often you feed, how much/how often you change the water, it will be easier to get to the bottom of things.

  111. Ra February 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm - Reply


    My fish has all this symptoms and I don’t know what to do anymore, tried the salt and tetra med. I live in London so hard water was my enemy all the time I changed the whole water for spring water, the same I drink. I use the aquasafe monthly and easybalance every week. But he still have his fins damaged and blood streak on the fins and white spots. Almost a year and he still alive. Should I worry? Btw he also lost his colour turning into a albine fish. Still love him thought. Anything i can do?

  112. Ra February 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Btw he lives by himself in a 65L tank with filter and air pump

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 2, 2016 at 2:45 am - Reply

      How often do you change the water, Ra, and what is your feeding schedule like?

  113. Ahmed February 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great information about the symptoms.
    I have a 2.5 inch goldfish (approximately) and noticed yesterday that he’s becoming covered by a white film and he looks depressed and inactive. Additionally, all of his fins are sticking to his body and the fish spends 80% of its time at the surface. But the fish becomes active when I feed him! Then after feeding, he returns again to the same place at the suface and keeps floating. I change 25% of the water each week, and I changed it today too (just 50%). There’s also another symptom, his belly is becoming larger and his scales just started to stand upright. I would like to ask about the kind of illness and if it can spread (there’s another female goldfish of the same size). Can I treat my goldfish?
    Any help please?
    Thanks in advace.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 2, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

      Glad you appreciate it, Ahmed! How big is the tank? 25% weekly is not enough to keep the water parameters good for goldies. The symptoms you are describing sound like dropsy, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. That is not a disease per say, but a sign that the water has gone bad. It is hard to reverse the damage of such a condition, but if you remove all gravel, stop feeding and change the water 90% daily and the filter daily he might stand a chance.

      • Ahmed February 2, 2016 at 6:23 am - Reply

        Thanks for your rapid response. But Unfortunately, my fish started going even worse this morning…..when I woke up, I found him lying on the bottom and looks so bad. I will try your advice anyway….I will do all what I can to save him, but unfortunately, I think I’m too late. By the way, my tank is 10 gals and I realized recently that it’s not sufficient. Can that be a big problem for my fishes’ health?
        Anyway, I will do what you told me, and I wish this can make a difference. My substrate is consisting of sand.
        Thank you so much again and I am so happy to get information from you.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish February 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

          Sure thing πŸ˜€ Yes, an undersized tank is a big problem because it makes the water go rancid too fast. I would advise taking out the substrate because sand is a breeding ground for bad bacteria. If you think it’s too late it may be kindest to euthanize the fish though.

  114. Micah February 2, 2016 at 7:57 am - Reply

    I understand that their may be differences between fish but this is the most comprehensive guide to fish symptoms and illnesses that I have found, and was wondering if any of these could overlap or at least identify similar instigating conditions (poor water quality, etc). I have a betta and I’ve been trying to keep an eye on him over the last week or so (he started exhibiting symptoms maybe five days ago after a water change). After doing a 50% water change, he started twitching a bit, just a little in movement. By the end of the night he was being jerked all around the tank. This started tapering off but still occurred fairly regularly. I checked to see if he had velvet but was unsure, given that though he did have a rosy tint it seemed more an even sheen than a dust. It definitely didn’t seem to be ich. I let the temperature rise a bit in hopes that if he did have parasites that they would release sooner (I was prepared to put salt in the next day in another, smaller water change). After the temperature evened out again his most sever symptoms subsided though he did seem more lethargic. His appetite did and still does remain pretty voracious. Over the last few days he has for the most part recovered (I was advised by a friend and aquarist of many years to abstain from another water change; his opinion was that the frequency with which I had been changing his water had been too much to acclimate to–I was changing his water by about 30% every two or three days–and that his immune system had become susceptible to whatever was now irritating, and that regardless if I treated him without pinpointing the exact cause he could worsen or at the very least still be susceptible to whatever was making him ill, his immune system not coming to resist on its own), and today I did another 50% water change (which I used as an opportunity to plant a java fern in the hopes that it might help with ammonia and the like). I should note that our tapwater here is fairly hard, but I use dechlorinator and try to let it sit overnight before adding it to his tank. He lives in a one+ gallon bowl, there is a seashell and some christmas moss, and now the java fern. Initially when I started testing his water the pH was still low enough that it seemed reasonable, but now it has been reading closer to 7.4 . As of today’s water change that holds, and the ammonia reads at .00375 I believe (I may have added an extra zero??). Nitrite is negligible and Nitrate is under safe thresholds. My main concern is that he seems to have a patch of discoloration on one side, a dark spot seemingly between the scales that has gotten larger over the last few days, and several smaller instances of this that may be starting to form in other places around his body. When he first started showing symptoms, and before he really started jerking around the tank, he clamped his right pectoral a bit, but he hasn’t done that (observably) since the jerking has subsided. There have been several instances of lethargy but overall he seems to have a fair amount of energy left. His appetite remains high. I noticed him earlier today on the bottom of the tank, and it seemed his right gill was less active, or that his left gill was overactive if not flared. His breathing hasn’t seemed particularly shaken, though sometimes he will go up to the surface for air more consistently than others. Oh, and the last couple days he has more often than I like been darting around and off of things, namely the thermometer, fern, and sides of the tank. I’m still most anxious about that dark spot; it almost seems like dirt between or on or coming from his scales, and I was wondering if maybe it could be bruising from darting so much. I don’t believe he’s lost any scales though these “dirty” splotches are fairly matte. He has an ecosafe substrate and there is nothing else in the tank. Any advice much appreciated!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 2, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your kind words, Micah! In all honesty I don’t know very much about tropical fish, but it would seem that some issues transcend varieties and could cause similar symptoms, especially when related to water. And his sound like water-related symptoms to me. Ammonia is the deadliest toxin to all freshwater fish in any level above 0ppm, so if you have a positive result for it likely that is contributing to your fish’s discomfort. His symptoms sound similar to that of a goldfish suffering from ammonia burns, which include clamped fins, flashing/spasms and black patches. I remember hearing from a betta-loving friend who advised not to keep bettas in bowls for that reason, because without filtration the water goes bad too fast and requires daily water changes… maybe a 5 gallon tank would be a better choice? Another thought… did you add tap water without water conditioner? Either way, I hope he is able to recover soon.

  115. Ra February 2, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

    I used to change it every 2 weeks when he was on a smaller tank because even with filter water got really dirty. Was when I decided move him from a 20L tank to a 65L now I have changed the water 2 times and carrying out partial changes about 10|20% change as the water doesn’t get much dirty anymore. Las month he had this algae all lover the tank, the brown kind, so I took all of and washed it and replaced the filter but I kept some of the old water too. After that I reduce his feeding to 1 time every other day. I use to feed him every day. Tank looks fine this month but he didnt get any color back and the fins are getting longer but still cut. Maybe because of fake plants I have on it?

    Thank you for your time btw.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 3, 2016 at 4:50 am - Reply

      Sure πŸ™‚ Good you cut back on feeding. The ragged fins wouldn’t be caused by fake plants – that’s a sign of water issues. Fins split from prolonged exposure to ammonia. I think the best thing to do would be to change the water every day, 50%, and remove the gravel or substrate if you have any. With each water change, clean out the filter in old tank water but don’t dispose of it unless it is a carbon cartridge. You need that good bacteria to keep the cycle stable. Then, if he recovers you can reduce the water changes to 50-90% weekly. But it’s mandatory you do it that much. Clear water can be some of the most deadly, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. Hope that helps.

  116. Micah February 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks much for the feedback! I don’t believe I added any untreated water (I’m good about that stuff), but memory might be overlooking the small act of adding the drops, and that could explain why his symptoms seem so coordinated with that one particular water change. If that’s the case I would want to do more, smaller water changes again, yeah? Though I’ve looked into ammonia burns and those seem to be more even in distribution; his spot seems to be more like dirt gathering between the edges of his scales.. which might mean bacteria or fungus or parasites. But if it’s parasites then I don’t want to write off my friend’s opinion that I wasn’t giving him enough time/proportioning enough for him to acclimate to new conditions–was actually changing the water too much–and more water changes would only stress him out further. Do you think a general use aid like API Stress Coat would be safe whatever the case may be? Does it sound like it is more conditional to the water quality, or am I pushing into more betta-specific issues? I’ll be running another test in a bit to see if conditions have changed much. Thanks again for the time!

    • Micah February 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      Oops, that was supposed to be a reply. Sorry!

      • Pure Goldfish
        Pure Goldfish February 3, 2016 at 5:13 am - Reply

        Ha ha no worries. For the next couple of days I’d do 50% water changes and hold off food. Water changes shouldn’t cause stress if they are done properly. The black between the edges of the scales is, from what little I know, nothing to be concerned about, but the behavior is an indication of being irritated. In the goldfish world, the rule is to never assume parasites unless you are certain the water quality is pristine. Only when you know that there is no problem there do you look into the possibility of disease, because the symptoms can be very similar.

  117. Aubrey February 3, 2016 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Hello! I have a black goldfish that is about a month old. We bought him and had him in a small bowl, a week or so after we transferred him to his own 10 gallon tank (with proper cleanliness and filtration). He has been so happy! Swimming around and such. I usually feed him 3 smaller meals a day… he gets very excited when I feed him. Does that mean he is hungry?

    I also wanted to know. Earlier today I noticed one of the “fecal casts” (the white long strand) on him that wouldn’t come off. I am looking at him now (7:00 pm) and it is reddish and is still stranding on him. I just worry that it is one of the worms you were talking about or if he was having trouble with dietary needs and such!

    Please let me know! Thank you!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 3, 2016 at 5:16 am - Reply

      When goldfish get excited to see you, that is their way of begging πŸ˜‰ They will pretend like they are hungry, but really they never get full… they want to make you think they’ll die lol. Goldfish do occasionally get fecal casts and it is normal in most cases, especially if there is color to it, just means the fish’s digestive system is working. No worries about worms doing that. If you are concerned about diet I would highly recommend taking a look at our feeding article if you haven’t done so already.

  118. Burny5937 February 3, 2016 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Hey, I’ve had my fish burny for 5 months now, I’ve watched grow a lot and I’ve grown close to him, I noticed he was keeping his top fin down so I began watching him closely, over the past few weeks I have noticed, beginning with one side fin and then spreading heavily to all the rest, there are the thin red streaks, I feel that it cannot be the water quality for he was in a tank with other goldfish that is properly taken care of and all the others are fine, I have now followed your advice, just incase I separated him from the others, kept him happy, I’m now changing the water daily and trying to keep everything perfect and basically saying goodbye, I noticed that now his body is looking reddish too, also by the way he is a commit goldfish (yellowish color), I was thinking maybe it could also be a parasite, blood vessels or whatever, or ulcers, I’m not sure, but it keeps seeming to be getting worse, his fins look as if their now beginning to fray at the ends but it’s definitly not fin rot, please help he’s been staying near the bottom and I really hope I can help him

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 3, 2016 at 5:18 am - Reply

      Have you tried testing Burny’s water at all, specifically for ammonia and nitrite? Your pH might also be running low.

  119. Ra February 3, 2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Thank you for your advise, I use carbon on the filter, maybe you now the juwel bioflow? About 7 tipes of filtration inclining carbon and cirax to keep good bacteria in. Any product that I can use against ammonia? Doing 50% changes everyday on that big tank won’t be possible for me.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 3, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Ammonia reducing products aren’t sufficient for goldies – they only put a band-aid on the broken arm, so to speak. Water changes are the only way. Do you have a siphon? It should be easy to change the water for 65l with one… let me know if you need more explanation.

  120. Ra February 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    My only issue now is with the water, here in London tap water is hard. Even using aqua safe product on the water I can see lime scale marks on the tank. Recently I filled the tank with spring water the same one I drink. Hard water will be harmful to him? What about add distillate water on hard water? Heeeeeeeelp ?????

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2016 at 4:53 am - Reply

      What exactly is the pH? Hard water is actually preferred for goldfish over soft water, so in most cases there’s no worries.

  121. Ahmed February 3, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately, my fish just died and I am so sad about that?. So do you recommend me to change the sand with gravel for my other fish? Is it really better? But the problem is that the food get stuck between gravel and the fish won’t be able to eat it. So what do you think? I want to save the next generations?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2016 at 4:57 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear that Ahmed :'( I recommend no substrate at all, no sand or gravel, because bad bacteria pockets usually form.

  122. Effie Levenson February 3, 2016 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    I do not have a goldfish, rather a molly fish, which are quite nice. However I have noticed that the male fish has been keeping his top fin down and his back end has been floating above him. My mom says that he is dying what should I do? What might be the problem?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2016 at 4:59 am - Reply

      Hey Effie, with goldfish water quality is usually the biggest cause of problems, though I can’t say for certain about mollies as I am admittedly not an expert on tropical fish. I would advise testing the water, then researching what are the ideal water parameters for mollies and going from there to address what is going on.

  123. Sofi February 3, 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I have two goldfishes and i just changed thair water, but when i did the tail of one of them turned red. What can i do?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2016 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Red fins are a sign of high ammonia or nitrites, Sofi. Have you tried testing the water for them?

  124. Ahmed February 4, 2016 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Thank you Pure Goldfish for the great information. Whenever I need any information again, I will surely come back to you.?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2016 at 5:20 am - Reply

      πŸ™‚ More than welcome.

  125. Justin February 5, 2016 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank with 6 goldfish a male beta and 2 little silver fish (not certain on what type they are). My concern is that one of my goldfish losing scales and constantly either at the bottom of the tank or gasping for air at the top. This is the only fish in the tank with these problems. I checked the the water for chemicals and even replaced about half the water in the tank. Is he dying?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Hi, Justin! The tank is pretty heavily stocked. Likely you are experiencing ammonia/nitrite surges, not sure if you tested for them…

  126. Michelle February 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    I love your website and am hoping you can answer several questions for me. A year and a half ago, my husband won a goldfish for my daughter at a carnival. We named him “Funnel Cake,” since that was what my husband was eating at the time of winning him. (LOL) he was very tiny and gray and yellow in color. Shortly after we moved to Tennessee where the color of everything is orange. He instantly started turning a beautiful bright orange (which became another chuckle saying even the fish have to be orange at UT. Anyway, we started him in a fishbowl. At around 6 months, we went to the pet store to buy him an aquarium. The worker there told us that for the first goldfish you would need a minimum of a 10 gallon tank. So that is what we got (as he remains the only fish in the tank). It came with the filter that we put the carbon cartridges in and we put gravel on the bottom. Up until now he has been terrific! The worker at the pet store also told me to change the water monthly. I have just spent several hours reading all your responses to other people, and based on what I have read a monthly water change is nowhere near enough now that he is getting bigger and he’s around 6 inches in length, from end to end. This past week he had the symptoms of sitting on the bottom of the tank, clamped fins, and hemorrhaging at the end of the body where it meets the tail and also some red streaks in the tail. After doing immediate research my diagnosis was ammonia poisoning. He also had one scale missing on the side of his body. I immediately siphoned the gravel and removed around 70% of the water. I gathered a collection of water and went straight to Petsmart to have it tested and sure enough the ammonia was extremely high! I was so upset that I harmed our little buddy! I also then went home and cleaned out the filter and replace the carbon cartridge. Unfortunately I always have a bit of a delay with filling the tank back up with clean water because I am afraid to use the water from my tap. I have a Well and it is very hard water and we had to put in a water softener. In the past, when we had fish it seemed like they all would die in my water. Perhaps from the water softener? So when we got funnel cake, I didn’t want to take the risk of killing it and therefore I go to my parents and fill up gallon jugs of their tap water and I treat it with API stress coat. So, i put 2 gallons of fresh water back in and Pet smart had me buy Top Fin Ammonia Remover, which I added. I repeated the siphoning and water change a second day when i realized he got hemorrhagic septicemia. I ran straight back to the pet store where they suggested I put him on API T.C.Tetracycline. (i read on line that Myacin 2 works best, but they didnt have it and I wanted to get him on antibiotics before the infectiin progressed). I am following the instructions on the box where you give a packet of the powder, wait 24 hours and give a second packet, wait 24 hours and change 25% of the water, and then give a fourth pack. It did not mention removing him from the tank, so I am treating him right in his tank. I removed the carbon cartridge per the instruction. He is doing completely better but still has the blood marks at the beginning of the tail and the streaks on the tail. I feel like I should be changing the water more, but do not want to get rid of the antibiotics that is hopefully helping him. I went back to the pet store and had the water tested and the ammonia remover didn’t do much as the ammonia level read tge 3rd level in which is “stress” level. But again the water changes I did make and siphoning definitely had to of helped because the fish is no longer sitting at the bottom of the tank with clamped fins he is swimming and eating just fine. This time at PetSmart they are telling me that I need a 29 gallon tank for one goldfish at a minimum. I wish they told me that in the first place as I wouldn’t of wasted money with a 10 gallon. i still think though since he is alone in there that the 10 gallon seems ok. Also, at pet store when i went back, they had me buy Prime, which detoxifies Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates. As the ammonia was still a little high and they said this time the nitrites were a little high. I still think an almost complete water change would have helped all of this a lot quicker however my dilemma is that now I’m following the regimen of the tetracycline to get rid of the septicemia and I am afraid if I don’t follow the directions on that regimen I might waste the antibiotics in the water that he needs if I take out too much of the water. So here are all my questions: 1.) Should I just do the one dose of antibiotics consisting of four packs or repeat it for a second time, which the box says you can do if needed. The box comes with 10 packs total (I did read online one girl said you need them on it for a full 10 days to get rid of it) 2.) How do you know if the septicemia is gone? 3.) Do the blood marks go away or do they stay forever? 4). Is the 10 gallon tank big enough for 1 goldfish? 5.) I think a contributung factor for high ammonia levels was a little over feeding. I was giving him 5 Omega one pellets per day, I have cut back to 3 pellets per day, is that right? 6.) Did I kill all the good bacteria in the aquarium by treating the fish right in the aquarium? 7.) Should I have also taken the media filter out along with carbon cartridge from the filter before I put in the antibiotics? (As the instructions on the antibiotics addressed none of this!) 8.) Is it better to have no gravel on the bottom of tank cause traps food etc…or is it better to have for collection of good bacteria? 9.) Will the 1 scale that fell off his body from the ammonia poisoning grow back? 10.) What is the appropriate schedule for how much water to change and how often for 1 goldfish in 10 gallon tank?
    I am sorry this was so long, but would really appreciate your help with these questions! We have grown very attached to Funnel Cake and want to see him thrive!!! Thank you soooo much!!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 7, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      1) Discontinue the antibiotics and medications immediately. 2) Septicemia is not a disease. It is a symptom of bad water. 3) They go away when the water quality recovers. 4) 10 gallons is only big enough for 1 fancy goldfish, not for a slim-bodied one. 5) Yes 6) Very likely 7) Yes 8) No gravel 9) It could, with good water 10) Since your fish is a slim-bodied one, I would say at least biweekly.

      And, you’re welcome πŸ™‚

  127. Kassie February 7, 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Hey there.

    One of my fishey friends has been really sick lately. At first, he was only developing those small “Ich” bumps, and we successfully treated him. However, he then started developed symptoms of fin rot. At this point, he was moved to a ‘hospital tank’ where we changed his water regularly and applied medicine for fin rot. He remained like that for a few days, and then we noticed a small, almost bruise-like spot on his forehead. It looked as if his skin had bled on the inside, again, like a bruise. He also got the Ich bumps again. Just recently, the bruise-like spots started to spread, and now a great chink of his face is a purplish-orange and even the rest of his body had started to develop these bruise-like spots. His eyes have also started to bruise. I’d really like to know if there’s still hope for the little guy, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 7, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      That’s possibly an indication of an ammonia problem, Kassie. Have you tried testing the water?

  128. Megan February 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    We have a relatively new 40 gallon breeder tank, which we cycled for 2 months until the levels were spot on. Last week we got 4 fancy goldfish – 2 fantails, one oranda, and one black moor. In the ensuing week a lot of things seem to have gone wrong, and I’m hoping there’s not a larger problem in the tank, aside from levels (which are still good).

    One of the fantails has developed what appears to be significant swim bladder issues. He spends most of the time upside down either floating at the top or resting at the bottom of the tank. Sometimes he flips around and swims relatively normally, while still tippy, and sometimes he gets bursts of energy that resemble how you describe flashing. We fed him some green pea yesterday, he ate it but still is constipated.

    The oranda is showing fin clamping and is sitting at the bottom of the tank. He seems pretty sad.

    The other fantail was showing some crazy flashing / agitation the other day – it looked like he was twitching wildly.

    Both the black moor and the agitated fantail started showing significant aggression toward the two sicky ones (other fantail and oranda) and were terrorizing them. We had to get a tank divider, and since then the two healthier fish have chilled out for the most part. The two sicky fish don’t seem to be getting better.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! The aquarium store seemed to be pretty reputable, but I’m wondering if there was a larger problem we brought home, like a parasite or something??

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 9, 2016 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Parasites are always a possibility with pet store goldfish, Megan, but it is also likely that introducing 4 goldfish at once without compensating with heavier water changes is causing instability in the tank. I would recommend changing the water often and checking to make sure the fish are being fed lightly. You may want to take a look at our feeding article for reference.

      • Megan February 9, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for your reply! Since yesterday, the oranda has gotten a spotty white coating on his wen and has barely moved all day. He’s just sitting on the bottom, I can hardly see his breathing. He looks so sick! We did a significant water change today, and he is still looking worse. I’m at a loss! We have some tank antibiotic, but I’m reluctant to use it on the whole tank unless they’re all sick. I don’t want to stress out the other healthy fish. I’m not sure what to do, but so sad that some of our fishies are so sick πŸ™

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish February 11, 2016 at 2:08 am - Reply

          Yeah don’t use any meds, focus on water changes and clean tank conditions.

  129. Chris February 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    I have one fantail “Junior” in a 20 gallon tank with several plants and a gravel substrate. For filtration/circulation, I have an undergravel filter with two risers as well as a Penguin BioWheel 150. I do 50% water changes every 7-10 days. The water temperature generally varies between 68 and 72, depending on the temperature of the room.

    Every morning, Junior seems fine. He swims freely and has a hearty appetite. I have been feeding him once daily in the morning, alternating between frozen peas, brine shrimp, blood worms and veggie mini pellets. By late afternoon every day, he has buoyancy issues which only seem to resolve themselves after he poops. The poo does seem to match the color of the food he was fed, however it often has air bubbles or long stringy sections between lumps of poo. By bedtime, he is almost always back to normal.

    I’ve tried fasting him, feeding exclusively peas, reducing his portion size and trying a more varied diet… but nothing seems to be breaking this cycle.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 11, 2016 at 2:34 am - Reply

      Hey Chris, have you had a chance to look at our feeding article and see if what you are doing lines up with that?

  130. emily February 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Hi, I still don’t know what is wrong with my goldfish. At first glance it looks like he’s shedding scales, but if you get closer its just some white goopy stuff at the end of each scale. My gold fish also is a pinkish color with red stripes on his tail, he won’t move or eat, and is only moving one gill. At first I thought it was septicemia but again I could be wrong, I’ve looked for the problem online but nothing exactly sounds like my Goldfish’s problem. Hopefully you my know what’s wrong.

  131. emily February 10, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I forgot to add something you can see his red veins throughout his body.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 11, 2016 at 2:36 am - Reply

      Have you tried testing the water for ammonia and nitrites, Emily? That can cause red streaking…

  132. emily February 12, 2016 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Yeah I have. The results were not good at all, but we put him in a different fish tank and he seems to be recovering by him self, ?thank goodness. I’m glad I red this website or things could have gotten worse a whole lot faster. Thanks!??

  133. emily February 12, 2016 at 6:09 am - Reply

    By the way is it abnormal for a goldfish to get about 9″ long? That’s how long my fish is.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 13, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

      Glad to hear that, Emily! And no, for a slim-bodied goldfish it is perfectly normal… some even get over a foot long. πŸ™‚

  134. Steven February 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Looking for some advice regarding my goldfish. He is five years old and has started sinking to the bottom of his tank. within the past week he has also started to develop black spots on his fins nose and body. When i put food in the tank he swims up tries to eat then sinks straight back to the bottom again breathing heavily as if he has no energy left. The water levels are fine and he is in a large tank on his own. The pet shop advised we buy some real plants to try and get more oxygen in the tank but this hasn’t helped he is still lying at the bottom hardly moving.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Steven! Black spots are a sign of healing from burns, usually ammonia. Did you specifically try testing for it with your test kit?

      • Steven February 14, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

        Yes. We specifically took a sample to the pet shop where they kindly tested it for us. All of the levels where fine….

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish February 15, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply

          Sometimes you can’t always depend on the tests. I would advise changing the water and being sure to remove any substrate and reduce feeding.

  135. despoina February 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    hello:) thank you for the information! I have a new fish tank(50liter) for about 15 days with a filter and a thermostat. I have only one oranda, his name is nektarios(greek name). The fish is almost all day long at the cornerns on the bottom of the tank. Today i changed the water and put some salt and bacteria, but he is still on the same place. what can i do? It’s a present from my boyfriend and i don’t want him to die:( (sorry for the bad english)

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Hi despoina, I’m afraid your tank is undersized, for one goldfish it is recommended to have at least 40 liters to avoid having issues with water poisoning. I would recommend upgrading as soon as you can because it will be very hard to keep him alive in the size of tank you have now.

      • despoina February 14, 2016 at 1:14 am - Reply

        My tank is 50 liters.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish February 14, 2016 at 11:40 pm - Reply

          Sorry! My math was off (I’m in the US). My advice would be to test the water right away. Have you done that yet? Usually the pet store will offer it for free.

          • despoina February 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm - Reply

            I haven’t test it yet, but i change the water every day for 3 days and the fish is much better.

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish February 16, 2016 at 4:52 am - Reply

              Happy to hear of the improvement!

              • despoina February 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm - Reply

                The fish is again on the bottom of the tank. I tested my water and it is fine, i gave him a medicine yesterday, for stress relief and immune support. Today he is still on the bottom

                • Pure Goldfish
                  Pure Goldfish February 18, 2016 at 5:11 am - Reply

                  Medicating is probably not going to help, if anything it will cause more complications. My advice would be to change the water and keep changing it until you see improvement, as well as make sure your filters are not dirty.

  136. Natasha February 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    This is a really helpful page- thank you!
    I’ve been having problems with my fantail goldfish. He must be 6, or 7 years old. He was showing signs of fin rot last weekend so I have been treating the water with Melafix. His fins are looking better but he is now floating at the top of the tank on his side, and has been for the past few days. He has been swimming a little bit but not a lot.

    I have tested the water several times and everything is fine. I have also been feeding him fish flakes on tweezers(!) as I was unsure that he would be able to eat off the top but it looks as though he is spitting it back out again. His poo is also floating to the top of the tank. What would you recommend?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Natasha! If he isn’t eating don’t feed. I would be sure to test the water first thing for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

  137. Sandra February 15, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    40 gallon tank. two 6″ lethargic bottom resting gold fish with tail bleeds. Water tested with all results coming into normal ranges. One fish has white spots like warts, other is filmed over and losing color. I have been changing 1/2 water daily for three days even though testing shows normal ranges. Filters are below and above, aeration is ongoing with UV light to help deter algae. Should I treat for ick? Anything else? Thank you for your time.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 16, 2016 at 4:53 am - Reply

      What is your feeding schedule like?

      • Sandra February 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply

        once a day, small amount of floating and bottom sinking food.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish February 18, 2016 at 5:09 am - Reply

          Okay, and when you say the water is normal, what exactly are your parameters? How often do you normally change the water & clean the filters? Also do you have any gravel?

  138. Red fish, Yellow fish February 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Hello! I have two fish – one red and one yellow but they are both goldfish. Recently, I have noticed that the red one has quite a big purple blob just above its mouth. The other one has a large patch of red sores above its mouth also. These seem to have appeared about a month ago. What can I do for them? I also came to this website to tell you about the “dirty tank” problems I sometimes have. Sometimes, maybe a day or two after I clean their tank, the water becomes excessively cloudy and an unbelievable stench starts pouring out of the tank. Why?
    Thank you very much!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 16, 2016 at 4:54 am - Reply

      The symptoms of your goldfish and the smell are likely related. Likely it isn’t getting cleaned often enough or thoroughly enough. Clean water is the best thing for goldies! πŸ™‚

  139. Michelle February 17, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m so happy a site like this exists.
    Ive had my goldfish for 3 1/2 years, he lives with two smaller goldfish i got about 7-8 months ago. 2 days ago I noticed Fish (his name) was floating upside down, hardly swimming, staying towards the bottom of the tank. In case the other fish were getting too big I separated them into another tank I have to let Fish be by himself (25 gallon, and I just guessed he is a he). Hell swim for me if I go up to the tank, but besides that he just sits at the bottom. This morning I noticed his left eye is bulbous, and his left abdomen is also swollen. Nothing is irregular on his right side.
    His tank was cleaned a week ago, same pH balance brand and amount I’ve used since I got him.
    Thank you for your time,

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 18, 2016 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Thanks Michelle! My first thought is, have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? And is he in a 25 gallon now or was that his old home?

  140. emily February 18, 2016 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Dear Mr.Pure Goldfish, hello this is Emily again! Me and my dad got a new fish tank for Shark-Bait (my fish), he seemed to be doing fine until now. Some of the red gains in his tail started to come back, and stopped eating. There is also a medium red spot on his gills and is a little biger on the bottom of his belly.

    Please help. Again I feel the worst for him?.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 19, 2016 at 5:16 am - Reply

      Hi Emily! Sounds like an ammonia/nitrite problem. Likely your fish is having New Tank Syndrome. Change the water every day for a while and cut back on feeding.

  141. Jo February 23, 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Hi there, I have several goldfish of varying ages in a pond in the garden. We have had a bad year, as we have seen 3 of our oldest fish, (2 Shubunkins and one silver goldfish) die. This was all in the Summer and we didn’t figure out the problem. We had removed the toad spawn early on in the year, as our cat was becoming ill from chasing toads. I did think that this could have upset the chemical balance in the pond, as all the plant life and worms seemed to die after that. We partly drained and topped up the water every couple of days and things recovered. I have just noticed a long thick speckled white poo trailing behind Ghost, a very large Shubunkin. After a couple of searches, it seems this could indicate an intestinal issue, but I can’t find the best way to treat it. He is about 10 years old and our last original fish. please help!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 24, 2016 at 4:42 am - Reply

      Trailing poo is not always a problem, in many cases it is normal for the fish to have casts. I would keep an eye on him and be sure to make sure the pond stays very clean.

  142. Emily W February 25, 2016 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Hi! I have a comet goldfish that is about 3-4 years old. About half a year ago, I was able to get him into a 29 gallon tank. He didn’t really swim around in the 10 gallon half a year ago, probably because it was too small. In the 29, he started off just a little weird. He ate fine, and just sat around in the bottom a little more than usual. He has been getting worse and worse, and I don’t know what’s wrong. Currently, he is in the same 29 gallon tank, and a few days ago I totally cleaned it out. He is still acting pretty much the same as right before I cleaned it though, so i do not think it is the water quality. These are all of the things I noticed about him so far:

    -sitting at the bottom of the tank ALL the time, I think he swims around only a few times then goes back to the corner. He sits at a weird angle, diagonal with his head and front half down and his back half high floating.

    -Whenever somebody walks past the tank, he freaks out. He used to totally go nuts in the ten gallon, swimming fast all over and slamming into walls like he was terrified of people. Now he only swims a little away from you.

    -He has this weird crooked tail. It seems like he cannot swim straight or keep his tail up regular. It kind of goes up and turns and looks weird…..it droops when he sits at bottom of tank

    -red irritated scales on the corner of the part of a goldfish that connects their abdomen to their tail, maybe thats where its broken?

    -A few of his scales have turned white on random scales on his sides. I dont know if it is from rubbing, or if it is ich even though it is as large as a scale.

    -Weird white tumorish looking thing that is kind of pointy on his side

    Please help!!!!!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 25, 2016 at 5:40 am - Reply

      My first thought, Emily, is have you tried testing the water? And did you cycle the new tank first before moving him or did you keep the old filter?

  143. mika February 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    hi, me again. So i’ve been feeding my fishies pellets now, and it works really well! Only… The fish that we’ve talked about earlier, has this problem again. So, sometimes, when i get home from school he is floating on the surface belly up… I snap in my fingers a few times, and then he wakes up again.. Is that a protein build up? (again) He also makes this kind of poop that kinda has air bubble this around it.. Does that makes sense? Anyhow, I really hope you can help! (again)?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 26, 2016 at 4:39 am - Reply

      How many pellets are you feeding?

      • mika March 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        umm… I think I feed the fish around 6-8 pellets (I throw around that amount in, I don’t feed 6-8 pellets per fish) is that to much? cuz I’m quite worried, I’ll do anything to save my fish.. (well, now its getting better but he still sometimes goes belly up..)

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish March 8, 2016 at 4:18 am - Reply

          How many fish do you have, and in what size of a tank? Swim bladder can also be from poor water quality.

  144. Sunny March 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Hi, thank you for providing all this information.

    I am a beginner with starting a tank and have 2 small comet goldfish in a 12 litre tank. My tank is about 3 weeks old and hasn’t cycled. My ammonia and nitrate levels are 2.0ppm which are dangerously high. I have been doing 10% water changes every 2 or 3 days for the past 3 weeks and been using water conditioner. I also put in sera bio nitirivec when I do these water changes as advised by the pet shop. But now am getting concerned as my ammonia and nitrate levels are not dropping. I went to the pet shop yesterday and they advised I stop doing the water changes so frequently as this will start to stress the fish and that I only use sera bio nitirivec in larger quantities more often. I put in 10 ml sera bio nitrivec yesterday. Please help I’m not sure what more I can do. I also noticed my 1 comets tail is looking frail.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 2, 2016 at 5:11 am - Reply

      Sorry to say, Sunny, that the pet store probably gave you the worst advice they could have possibly given you. As you know, your ammonia and nitrite is through the roof and water changes are the only way to get that out. Water changes won’t stress your fish, ammonia and nitrite WILL – they are deadly toxins as you know. Up the water changes to 90% daily until you can get a larger tank; your tank is too small to ever cycle. Hope that helps.

  145. Pampi March 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I have two cute red gold fish…
    Brought it one week back but ine of them is died… Dont k ow what happend but she stopped taking foid for 2- 3 days.
    Again brought one to make it pair but the new one is having some issue in the tail.
    There is some lumps in red colour and the poop in floating.
    Pls help me what to do

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 3, 2016 at 4:25 am - Reply

      That’s likely a sign of water poisoning, Pampi. Have you tested the tank for ammonia and nitrite?

  146. SAG March 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    So whats the best diet for goldfish?

  147. elle March 3, 2016 at 2:49 am - Reply

    My fish looks like he’s bleeding… I got him about a week ago and he has strange habits of swimming with his head to the bottom of the tank – I thought either a constipation or swim bladder issue, but today I’ve looked at him and he now looks like he’s bleeding… :S The water’s not red but he has red around his fins and gills… What on earth could this be?!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 3, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

      Sounds like an issue with water poisoning, elle. Have you tried testing for ammonia and nitrite?

  148. elle March 3, 2016 at 6:32 am - Reply

    I had the water tested before and they said it was fine… I’ll retest it though! thank you!!

  149. Desiree March 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Hi. I have just found this website and I need some urgent help.
    I have two goldfish roughly 8cm long in a 50m3 tank. The water was filthy so yesterday I changed two-thirds of the water and cleaned the other stuff in the tank including the pump. I put in two drops of Tapsafe, Stress zyme, ammonia remover, algae remover and accu-clear, as instructed by my mother, who owns the fish. Afterwards I fed the fish, but they didn’t seem too keen and they’re usually ravenous.
    Today I noticed the water was cloudier and the fish were gulping air. Also, the food wasn’t eaten. My mother put in more of the accu-clear, etc but nothing has changed. Should I change the water again?
    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Yes change the water. Do you mean a 50 liter or gallon tank?

      • Desiree March 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

        50 litres, sorry.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish March 5, 2016 at 5:40 am - Reply

          That’s a bit cramped for 2 goldies… if you could upgrade the tank to at least 80 liters that would help with things not getting dirty so fast. Also, you may need to asses your water change and maintenance schedule so it doesn’t get to the point of being filthy. Keep changing that water; a dirty tank is a deadly one. And, if they aren’t eating, don’t feed. It will only foul things further. Hope that helps!

  150. Marcel Saulnier March 5, 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    I have a light orange fantail 3 years old alone in 55 gallon tank with NO decorations heated to 74 Fahrenheit with large air stone for aeration
    -has more and more black spots
    -has sudden seizures suddenly swimming fast flailing around going up and down sometimes even swimming on its side
    -has a white string of moldy looking white stuff growing from his gills
    -won’t even acknowledge his food anymore

    Please help as soon as possible ????

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 6, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

      Do you have a substrate or filtration? Sounds like your fish is experiencing severe ammonia problems. Change the water daily, withhold food and assess the setup/maintenance schedule until things get back to normal.

  151. Natalie Ceja March 7, 2016 at 6:18 am - Reply

    My 7″ gold fish is 5 years old and has done well until now. He has a few red spots on his body and he seems to have a powdery look. He seems happy but I’m concerned. You mention red spots above as being an illness but you don’t say what to do about them. Also, I’ve been looking for a tap water filter that I can afford. What should the filter be able to filter out of the water for it to be safe for Fishy. We replace about 2/3 to 3/4 of his water and replace the carbon filter about once a month. We vacuum the gravel at the same time. He’s been great until now. Can you help? Up until now we have used tap water that has sat out for a few hours or overnight.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 8, 2016 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Hi there Natalie! Once a month water changes? That’s probably a big part of the issue. Goldfish need weekly water changes of at least 50%. Your tank is probably having water quality problems. It takes 12 hours for chlorine to evaporate from water, which is caustic to goldfish. You don’t need a tap water filter, a water conditioner is what you do need. Then you can use the water instantly for Fishy. You will also need an aquarium filter if you don’t have one on your tank already.

  152. Sam March 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I have 3 fantails abt 6 months old in a 26 gallon tank. Ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=15. 30-50% water changes at least once a week. The three of them usually swim together very actively. Fed them them peas for the first time the other day and next day noticed a very long thin stringy, partially zigzaggy, white substance in the water, am guessing was poo. One of the fish is now lethargic just sits in one spot in the middle of the tank. Fins are open, limited appetite. Other two fish are happy as larry. Was thinking possible bacterial or parasitic infection, would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 9, 2016 at 5:04 am - Reply

      What is your normal feeding schedule like? Have you checked out our feeding article?

  153. Hanna March 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    I have a 75 Litres tall tank. It is cycled as i have had it for about 1 month before buying my goldfish. I already had an angelfish and a neon in it (which my brother gave me as he bought new fish for his tank, going to give them back to the petshop as they’re school fish and i think they feel lonely). A few days ago i bought 2 goldfish, one is a blackmoor with and the other i think is a fantail. The fantail is sitting at the bottom of the tank like he is resting, with fins close to body and just laying there. If i feed, or something drastic happens (turn on/off the light or filter) he starts swimming around, then goes back to the same spot every time. Yesterday i noticed he had bloody streaks on his tail, so i started reading up on internet and majority of answers was ammonia or nitrite levels. I did a 50% water change, added chlorine remover to the new water before adding it. Today 24 hours later i added bacteria drops also, just in case, i don’t know, i’m panicking here, maybe it’s the ammonia level then i thought bacteria could balance it out. But today i also noticed his tail is rotting. Not exactly like rotting but it’s almost like splitting. Also today his behavior had changed, i saw him swimming around a lor at very top of the tank gasping for air. I don’t think oxygen is a problem as i have a filter with air pump for almost triple the water capacity. But then i read that if it’s nitrite poisoning then he’s not able to breath aswell either. He always seems to be gasping for air. I have also put salt. Can you help? i’m also very new this is my first tank, have just had it for a month or so with the angelfish and neon in it previously. The rocks i have are from a lake nearby, i thought it wouldn’t do any harm but now i’m second guessing that. Would a protozoan account for all of this? i had a transparent milky goo on the rocks just before i got the fish, now it seems to have dissapeared. Thank you for any help you can give!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 9, 2016 at 5:09 am - Reply

      Hello πŸ™‚ You are probably right about the ammonia/nitrite poisoning. It will take more than a one-off water change to help that though, and it will also take evaluating the current setup. Right now your tank is overcrowded with the tropicals, I would take them out as they do not mix with goldfish and are adding to the waste load of the tank. I would also take o0ut the rocks, especially if they are covering the bottom of the tank – they are a trap for debris.

      • Hanna March 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

        I changed the water again today, a 50% change again. Also i took the angelfish and neon and gave them back to the petshop. Since i was there i asked them if they can do a water test for me as i don’t have the tests at home. All results came back normal, so the ammonia and nitrite levels are fine, but this is also considering i did the water change just this morning.
        Would you have any other ideas of what could be happening to him? could it be a parasite? My brothers tank has a blue aulonocara which is slowly rotting away, his fins are almost gone and his upper lip looks terrible, you can see the bone. He just bought medicine today, but i’m wondering if i could’ve gotten something from his tank as we share utensils? My fish on the other hand seemed quite happy today, he is not lying at the bottom as often, every time i pass by i see him swimming around and acting normal. What i did notice tho is he is either quite thin, either his belly is bulging a little bit. Since i’m so new to fish i don’t really know which one it is, but comparing to the other fish, the blackmoor is very round starting from the gills, whether my sick fantail looks like he is suddenly slimmer just behind the gills, then his belly is bulging towards the end. Could he be affected by something else then? This is so confusing i’m sorry, and thanks a million.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish March 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

          It might be diet related. I would definitely suggest reading our feeding article if you haven’t already.

          • Hanna March 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm - Reply

            Ok, thanks. I just arrived home and found him dead πŸ™
            I will read into that, i heard flakes are not too good and that’s exactly what i have.
            Thanks for all your help

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish March 11, 2016 at 4:48 am - Reply

              So sorry for your loss :'(

  154. Kaitlyn March 9, 2016 at 3:22 am - Reply

    I have three goldfish. One of them has been acting odd the past few days, not moving much and floats on one side at the top of the tank usually. I did a water change to see if it would help and added aquarium salt to the water but he’s barely moving now, is it too late?

    One of my other fish she’s bigger and white and orange coloured. Has what appears to be an air bubble on her left eye, could it be an infection?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 9, 2016 at 5:11 am - Reply

      The air bubble is probably a sign of fluid imbalance, caused by poor water quality. It might be that it is too late but you could try keeping up the water changes and see if things turn a corner.

  155. Leea March 9, 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I am so thankful to have found your website. I have a sick goldfish and just wondered if there was anything else I could do to help him get better. He shares a 70litre tank with my shubinkin. Both fish are around 3-4inches in length. I have a Hydra20 filter in there.

    Today I noticed my comet goldfish at the bottom of the tank on his side looking as though he was gasping for air. My immediate thought was the ammonia levels or nitrites as I was due to do a water change that day (already had the replacement water de-chlorinated with filter aid sat in the side to reach room temperature before adding).

    In a panic a bit of a panic, I did a rapid 10% water change, cleaning out the filter as I went. On reflection, I realise that I may have caused some shock to my fish as the water hadn’t yet hit temperature.

    After a couple of hours, with little improvement, I set about doing a proper water change of a further 40% plus aquarium salts, plus positioned the filter to create lots of bubbles to help with oxygenating the tank.

    There have been very slight improvements, as in, my comet is moving his body a bit more but still very lifeless and isn’t moving about the tank much. He’s floating at the bottom now rather than lying on it (on his side) as he was this morning. I’ve removed a bamboo inspired ornament as I read the long hollow tubes can harbour bacteria which thread ammonia.

    Throughout this whole time, my shubinkin has been acting completed normal, lovely and not concerned. My comet is looking depressed, pale, with one clamped fin and the odd momentarily second of energy before sinking back to the bottom again.

    I’ve had these fish for nearly 2 years and not changed anything to my normal routine with no problems before now. Although I did feel that the filter was a lot dirtier than normal when I cleaned it this morning.

    Please help, I genuinely love my fish and if thand try is anything at all to help, I will do it! :’-(

    • Leea March 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Forgot to mention, I do a weekly water test and that seems fine with no ill readings.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      A dirty filter can definitely cause those problems. You should be cleaning it at least every week with your water change because filters can become toxic if they aren’t.

  156. Tina March 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Hi, my commet goldfish has this long red line down the length of both sides of his body, he is missing a few scales and he hasn’t been eating for a few days. I believe it started when he got seperated from my other commet goldfish who got sick (severe cotton wool disease). Is it a parasitic infection? It looks like he’s scratched himself on something. The ammonia level is at 0.25ppm I’ve been trying to lower it for three days but I am having trouble so I was also thinking ammonia poisoning maybe? At the moment he’s in a 15L tank (he will go back to 125L tank when the other fish is better) I do 50% water changes every day because the tank is so small i’m just unsure of what’s wrong with him now. Please let me know what you think. Thank you

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      The missing scales are definitely from ammonia. I would put him back in the main tank and do 50% water changes there, the small space makes ammonia rise faster.

      • Tina March 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

        Great I will do that, thank you for your help πŸ™‚

  157. Alina March 11, 2016 at 4:31 am - Reply

    Hi there
    I’m having a problem with one of my Oranda goldfish. I have like 5 loaches that hang out in this one spot and the goldfish keeps going to them and let’s them suck on her. She’s white and I can see the blood where they’ve been sucking on her. They’re not attacking any of the other goldfish when they swim by. They’re really focusing underneath her side fins. I’m gonna take the loaches out and put them in my other tank. What’s up with her?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 11, 2016 at 4:52 am - Reply

      Could be she’s in a weakened state. You’re doing the right thing by taking the loaches out.

  158. Georgie March 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply


    I was wondering whether you can help me, my goldfish has a large red mark in-between his eyes. It sounds very similar to ‘a sore’ !

    What can i do to help the sore disappear?

    Best wishes,

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Ulcers are usually caused by poor water. Have you tried testing it?

  159. Magikarp March 14, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Hi, my fan tail has suddenly developed a sore/ulcer type thing seemingly overnight. It’s on his back. He does have a slight swim bladder issue at the moment that I’m treating him for, could this be the cause as he likes to sleep under his bridge but with the buoyancy issue his back (where the red mark is) is always in contact with it. Or do you think it may be something more sinister?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Magikarp, would you mind providing some more details about your setup? Water test results? Feeding Schedule? Thanks!

  160. sheree March 17, 2016 at 2:00 am - Reply

    My goldfish ( I believe he is a comet) has not eaten in maybe 3 days now. yesterday he just sat at the bottom of the tank and is now upside down and has a curved spine. we did a water change yesterday. but he seems to be worse. I did find that he had some white poop yesterday. Not sure what to do for him now. He is about 9 years old.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 17, 2016 at 4:17 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear he isn’t doing well πŸ™ A curved spine is a death curl, which usually means the fish won’t make it (especially if he isn’t eating). I’m afraid to say euthanasia may be the kindest thing to do at this point…

  161. sheree March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!! I was thinking euthanasia as well but I just wanted to make sure there was nothing I could do. πŸ™

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 18, 2016 at 3:30 am - Reply

      Sure thing, and so sorry πŸ™

  162. Stephanie March 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Hi, my name is stephanie call me steph.Today i looked in my tank and one of my fish has red on her eyes only the top bit of it. She usaully has a big belly. Most of the time she has blood on her belly aka big belly all of our other fish are fine the thing is our water is a colour of orange it very durty but we change it once a week the vets told us too.also our fishtank holds 7 fish but the other thing is one of our fish disapeared it was a little one we think one of our bigger fish ate her. She was called olivia but that wont help u find out so what shall i do.xHOPE U CAN HELP!!!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 18, 2016 at 3:34 am - Reply

      Hey Steph! πŸ™‚ Do you know how many gallons your tank holds? For now you will need to change the water each day until the fish are better and the water isn’t dirty anymore.

  163. Stephanie March 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    OUR fish tank holds 2 gallons migjt it be f3om the food we gibe them that is making the water dirty??

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 19, 2016 at 3:28 am - Reply

      Hi again πŸ™‚ So, you have 7 goldfish in 2 gallons? That right there is your problem. 2 gallons sadly isn’t enough even for one goldfish. With so many fish in there, the water will be impossible to keep clean. I would suggest getting a bigger tank as soon as you can πŸ™‚

      • Stephanie March 20, 2016 at 8:39 am - Reply

        Ok thanks alot your the best website nobody ever replied but u replied right away so thanks

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish March 22, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

          Aww thanks πŸ˜€

  164. Lisa March 19, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    We have a very serious problem with our goldfish. He is almost 6 years old, has always been the only fish in his 20 gallon tank. Last week he developed a red spot on one side with some raised scales. We do frequent (weekly) water changes and a water test shows good levels. We have been treating the water with antibiotics for 5 days. The spot is getting larger and our fish is now hanging out at the bottom of the tank most of the time. Until today, he had been eating ok, but now he doesn’t even seem to want to eat. I would like to send you a picture. Is there a way to do that? We are very concerned.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 19, 2016 at 3:29 am - Reply

      Feel free to post a photo on our Facebook page or in the Forums and I’ll be happy to take a look πŸ™‚

  165. Griffin Hobson March 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I have a couple month old common that’s ~3 inches long in a 20 gallon (temporary arrangement, he’ll be getting an 80 gallons and a friend in about two years and maybe a 40 gallon in the meantime). He’s hanging out at the bottom but occasionally swims up. He goes to the surface a fair bit but always swims diagonally there, with his head pushed up much higher than his body. I’ve also noticed that when he tries to stay horizontal his head starts drooping down and he starts sinking.

    I’ve checked nitrite and nitrate and they’re both fine. Phosphate is ~1.5 PPM, which is much higher than I’d like but I doubt it’s the problem. I’m out of pH and ammonia test solutions but I will buy more and take those later today or tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m doing 20-30% water changes a day.

    The fish does not have a red belly and his fins seem fine. Mostly he’s just resting on the bottom in a dark and secluded part of the tank, and occasionally moving along the bottom or making a foray higher in the water. It’s not Nitrite or Nitrate poisoning, but it could potentially be ammonia or pH. It could also be swim bladder or constipation so I fasted him for a day (to no effect) and then put in some plant-type food, but he’s not interested.

    I’ll try getting actual peas later and, if that fails, some antibacterial chemicals. In the long term I’ll switch over to a mix of sinking pellets and the plant matter I feed the snails in another tank (algae pellets, collared greens, string bean pods) to avoid potential constipation or air inhalation problems.

    Am I missing any potential causes of the problem?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 19, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Hi, I might need to know a bit more about your setup. What is your filtration, substrate, and normal water change schedule? What about regular diet? Of course, knowing pH and ammonia are important too but also what kind of water you have, GH and KH could be useful too.

      • Griffin March 19, 2016 at 10:26 pm - Reply

        I have a 20 gallon filter. I change 15-25% of water a week. Substrate is a mix of sand and gravel.

        He gets fed about a flake of food a day. About every other week I’ll leave an algae pellet in the tank for a few hours right before I do a water change so he can eat things with plant matter. And occasionally I’ll give him a very small fragment of lettuce.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish March 19, 2016 at 11:27 pm - Reply

          That is probably part of the problem right there. It is recommended to do at least 50% weekly and I would definitely advise to take out the sand and the gravel; they are a hazardous trap for bad bacteria. In the mean while do 50% changes (at least) daily until the fish improves; don’t go the route of chemicals or you can tip you water over the edge and kill your fish. Hope that helps!

  166. Jen March 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    We have had three wonderful goldfish that we got (rescued) from the county fair last year. We went out and bought them first a 5 gallon tank, then a 10 gallon tank and then just yesterday we upgraded them to a 20 gallon tank. We bought new gravel and washed all of their decorations (which I have done before, with no problems), bought a new filter for a 20 gallon tank, added water conditioner that we have used in the past and we put them in yesterday. I noticed that they were not as happy as we had expected them to be right off the bat, but thought they were a little in shock at the new space. Then I noticed last night that there was some major poop floating at the top of the water, more than I have ever seen them expel. We went to bed and woke up this morning to all three of our guys dead…this is so devastating and sad. There is white stuff floating at the top of the tank. Could there be something wrong with the gravel or filter? I am desparately trying to research what has gone wrong in such a short amount of time and the saddest thing is how they must have suffered without us even knowing πŸ™

    Please let me know what you think could have gone wrong..

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 26, 2016 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Sorry πŸ™ That sounds like new tank syndrome, especially since you got a new filter. Basically, it means it wasn’t cycled beforehand to receive fish.

  167. Parastou March 24, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply


    This website is my bibble whilst trying to care for my goldfishes.

    But one of my goldfishes has something attached to his/her tail. Its clear in colour and moves. Only attached in one point.

    I have 4 goldfish and one sucker fish in 42 litter tank.

    How do i get rid of it? Will it spread to my other fishes?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 26, 2016 at 3:51 am - Reply

      Hey there πŸ™‚ Glad you’re liking it! Hard to tell without a photo, but 4 goldfish and a sucker fish in that size of tank is too many so you could have problems build up quickly.

  168. Elizabeth March 25, 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    One of my fish has a small black spot on her dorsal fin. She also seems to have a few missing scales. I have never had fish before, and am a little worried about her. Please help.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 26, 2016 at 3:52 am - Reply

      Hi Elizabeth! Black spots and missing scales are a sure sign of an ammonia problem. You will need to change the water right away.

  169. mel March 27, 2016 at 9:07 am - Reply

    hi, i have 5 fancy gold fish. Two are exhibiting signs of disease that i require assistance with. the original tank has been running for approximately a year so i assume it has fully cycled. one of the fish [ which has turned white from orange] has red streaks and lumps in the dorsal fin.the other fish has what i think is protruding eyes, not cloudy but not very hungry either . they are both very large goldfish and are currently being housed in a hospital tank together. ammonia reading is 0, nitrite is 0 but nitrate is between 40-80. please help as they are beautiful large girls.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 27, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Your nitrate is definitely too high, I would change the water until it gets down to 30 or lower over the course of a week or so.

  170. Owen March 30, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Hey! πŸ™‚ You really know a lot about fish! Anyway, I’ve had my fantail, Fanta (yeah I know it’s original) for just over a month now, and he seems to have all the symptoms of a dirty tank (spitting out food, tail ripping, white on body) but I think he also had Ich a few days ago. I’m wondering should I move him while I clean the tank or would that cause too much stress? I really don’t want him to die.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      I think it’s original πŸ™‚ No need to move him, you can leave him in while you change the water.

  171. Paula March 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe you have such a beautiful site for something so sad (fish illnesses)
    Going to the point I change the water of my tank ( bit less than half) yesterday and today the “white milky film on body” appeared, and they are both at the bottom of the tank: Did the tetra stripe and the only value a bit strange is the ph (very low) So i put half a teaspoon of “bicarbonate soda”
    My tank is 60lt it has lots of “anubias” and 2 goldfish.
    Is there anything else I can do to make them stay better?
    I also put 6 drops of Methylene blue.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Paula πŸ™‚

      Is the pH of your tap water low too? If it isn’t, then the tank is getting dirty and you will need to do some serious water changes. The Methylene blue won’t help, I wouldn’t add any more.

  172. Brinda March 31, 2016 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Hi I have 3 ranchu fancy goldfish (2 – medium, around 8cm & 1 – small, around 5cm) recently I found out that my ranchus had fish lice. Ive had my ranchus for almost 3 weeks now, I let my tank cycle before introducing the fish, and first added 2 medium ranchus and after a week the small ranchu. The small ranchu must of had the fish lice when i brought him from the pet shop. The fish lice that were visible i took of with tweezers, my small ranchu had the most fish lice, the other two only had 1 on each of them. The day i pulled off the fish lice i gave all 3 ranchus a salt dip bath for 5 minutes, the salt bath was made with 2 teaspoons of salt in 3.8 litres of water with tap conditioner. i then let them back into their main tank for the night. Just to make sure i got rid of all the fish lice i went to the pet store and got aquasonic para-gone. The bottle stated to use 1 tablet per 40 litres of water, my tank is 80 litres so I used 2 tablets. I dissolved 2 tablets in a disposable cup first and then poured it into my aquarium, i made sure the liquid was well mixed in my aquarium and then i let my fish back into its tank. It says on the bottle to leave the treatment in for 7 days before doing it again, but I could see my small ranchu acting weird already, he wouldn’t swim and he some how got him self in between my filter and the edge of the aquarium, I thought he was dead but when i got him out of there he started swimming again but then would stop and float around be moved around the aquarium by the current of the water made from the filter. However my other 2 ranchus were fine and eating fine. I decided to take the small ranchu out of the tank which had the treatment, and put him in another tank i had (no treatment in this tank), he’s all by himself now but is floating at the top of the tank, he’s on his side but I’m pretty sure thats because he doesn’t have a dorsal fin, I put food in there but he wasn’t interested and didn’t eat anything, so I did the salt dip bath again today exactly the same way i did it yesterday, but this time it didn’t help, I moved him back to the tank which had no treatment and he’s still floating on his side at the top of the tank. i can see his mouth and gills moving, and also his tail is wiggling like he’s trying to swim but can’t, is there anything that I can do to make him get better? please help me

    • Brinda March 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      I just put a few drops of API Melafix and it seems its helped him a little, he’s now able to swim but still on his side but then he stops randomly and starts floating again

      • Pure Goldfish
        Pure Goldfish April 1, 2016 at 4:29 am - Reply

        The salt dip probably eradicated all of the parasites already, what happened was that medication probably messed up the water bad… especially for a tank that was recently set up. At this point all you can do is stop the meds and dips and focus on getting things normalized through lots of large water changes and withhold feeding.

  173. Omkar Patil March 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Hi there,
    My goldfish have been swimming at the surface for the past week. 3 days ago, I also introduced a sucker fish in the tank.
    I didn’t think the surfacing was an issue until I noticed red streaks along the back of the goldfish, near the tail’s beginning. The red streaks end with greyish white bulges like that of fungus on old bread. After reading this post, I figured maybe the water had gone bad, though it is only 1 week old ( I usually clean the tank on a monthly basis, and change half the amount of water every 8-12 days).
    Changing the water hasn’t affected their surfacing behavior. Also, I have noticed that their excreta is unusually thick and reddish, with hollow long trailing whites (this is happening for the past 2 weeks).

    Please suggest what I should do.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 1, 2016 at 4:33 am - Reply

      The problems with your fish are probably related to your water change schedule. Monthly is not enough for goldfish, they need weekly or more water changes depending on the size of tank and amount of fish. Check our feeding article too, the unusual stool sounds like too much food. I would definitely suggest taking out the sucker fish as they don’t get along with goldfish long-term. πŸ™‚

  174. Simon April 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi, thanks for this great site.
    I have a 40 litre tank with two small goldfish in, both about a year old. The one has been upside down swimming in circles half bent at the bottom of the tank for about two weeks, the water tests ok.,I’ve been using swim bladder treatment together with salts but still no change. I make sure food drops to the bottom so it can still eat ok. Is there anything else I can do ? best regards.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 7, 2016 at 4:14 am - Reply

      You are very welcome, Simon! What parameters did you test for? 40 liters is a bit cramped for 2 goldies. The swim bladder is usually a combo of water problems with feeding problems.

  175. Kym April 5, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply


    Ive just rescued a goldie from a very bad home (bought on gumtree for 10 pounds). He is circa 15 cm long and had been living in a (heated) 15 litre tank.

    He has major colour loss, and a large tumour on his side. I am worried about keeping him with my other fishies, but also long term quarantine is not possible (i acted first and now need to find a solution that doesnt get me in too much trouble with my fella) currently already have 3 fish tanks! eek!

    Is it likely the tumour and colour loss were as a result of water quality? I honestly havent seen anything this bad ever. The bottom of the tank was sludge, full on brown slludge, and the filters were also clogged up completely with slugge, i am guessing 6 months or mores worth. The poor thing couldnt even swim, he didnt have space to turn around etc.

    Could you offer me some advice? How many vets treat fish tumours?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 7, 2016 at 4:23 am - Reply

      Is the tumor and colour loss water quality related? Absolutely. Poor fish πŸ™ It was kind of you to rescue him! My advice is first and foremost to get him a suitable living space, depending on the kind of fish he is (read our article on tank sizing) and then to keep the water as clean as you can. There isn’t much you can do for the tumor as most vets don’t treat them. The main thing is not to let it get worse.

  176. Susan April 6, 2016 at 12:25 am - Reply

    Yes, please…i bought a small goldfish and put in a bowl, yes, i know know it needs a tank. Our fishy jumped out of the bowl on to the floor. When my husband picked it up thinking it was dead and put it in the toilet bowl he noticed it was still breathing. We immediately fished it out and put it into a bowl of fresh clean water. Since then, Fishy appears to have lost a fin and the large scale plate over its gills on one side, Fishy is also swimming at the top of the bowl on her side. the injured side in the water. I think she may have gotten internal damage from the leap onto the wooden floors.

    It is very stressing to see her gasping for air and potentially in pain.

    Would appreciate any advice besides a larger tank, if she dies we do not need a larger tank.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 7, 2016 at 4:25 am - Reply

      Keeping the water clean and the environment stress-free is about all you can do. Oh, and don’t feed anything. Hopefully she will recover soon.

  177. Genevieve April 6, 2016 at 9:47 am - Reply

    HI i have a few goldfish in a pond with 4 koi’s and one plecostomus, The goldfish started getting red dots all over and now the fins are disintegrating. They are floating on top so i had them euthanized to save the others. The Koi;s are 100% fine but the plecostomus is forming fuzziness around his eyes.

    Is this now too many nitrates or rather a bacterial infection?
    Could it be caused by water plants?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 7, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

      Nitrates aren’t usually the cause of such symptoms, likely it’s nitrites. I would test the water.

  178. Jamie April 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    My goldfish isnt eating at all. He is in a fish bowl, which doesnt have a filter. I clean the bowl regularly (2-3 times a week). I use tonic and chlorine drops to treat the water.
    Lately he has been lethargic, swimming unbalanced, not really able to get to the bottom of the tank. I tried feeding him peas, which just sink to the bottom which he cannot get to. He doesnt look interested anyway to eat the peas.
    1] Is it good for a goldfish to be in a small bowl without a filter or pump?
    2] How many times should I be changing the water?
    3] What else can I feed him besides flakes and peas?
    4] What could the issue be with his lethargy and lack of appetite?
    5] He has a long string of poo coming out? Is he just constipated?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 7, 2016 at 4:29 am - Reply

      1. No, as you are witnessing firsthand.
      2. Daily until you can get a tank.
      3. Feed pellets and lettuce, ditch the flakes and peas.
      4. It has to do with his environment and diet.
      5. If he’s pooping, he’s not constipated, rather he is probably getting too much food.
      Sure πŸ™‚

  179. Nessa April 8, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    My fish has been pooping a clear and green or a brown poop with some clear. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find an explanation. Sometimes it’s just the color of its food but other times for the past month or so it has been these odd colors. There is brown algae on some of his rocks and he still tries to eat them sometimes then spits them out. Could this be the reason for their word colors?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 8, 2016 at 5:03 am - Reply

      Yes, algae can cause the stool to change colour. Goldfish do nibble at it and the algae is actually really good for their digestion.

  180. Elaine April 8, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    My goldfish are all lethargic, lying on the bottom of the tank and have long clear/white poops, the tank is not overcrowded and a good filter is in place, they were eating but now their not, and I do enough water changes, what could the problem be and how do I treat it to save my fish ?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 9, 2016 at 3:42 am - Reply

      So, how many fish exactly are in what size of tank? By enough water changes, just what is your water change schedule like? Feeding would help to know too.

  181. Nik April 9, 2016 at 12:04 am - Reply


    So I have four comets, one has a long tail and it is ripped at the bottom, but I’m noticing red streaks in his tail. I put him in a quarantine tank so his tail can heal. He lives with the other three in a 30 gallon tank with a 60 gallon filter. What should I do? I’m really worried! Help me please!

    Also this website has a lot of good information! ?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 9, 2016 at 3:44 am - Reply

      Glad you like the site, Nik! Did you test for ammonia or nitrite levels? With that many fish in that size of tank (even with an overrated filter), it’s likely you have water quality problems.

  182. Nik April 9, 2016 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Would a bigger tank help? And if so, what size?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 10, 2016 at 2:16 am - Reply

      Yes, it would help the water greatly and your fish would grow better and be more comfortable. It’s recommended to have 40 gallons per slim-bodied goldfish.

  183. Elaine April 9, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

    We “had” eight small goldfish in a 3 and a half foot tank and a tiny cleaner fish too, lost the cleaner and 5 fish last night πŸ™ dont think the others are going to survive, I do a water change every two to three days but only say a quarter to a third. I did notice a film over the fish last night, I had treated them for parasites in the past because one of my fish had a lice on it so I separated it and treated it and also the bigger tank, they were on flaked food ( I now know by reading this its not the the best for them ) you would think pet stores etc would tell you the best food to feed your fish.

  184. Elaine April 9, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Oh and the water is spot on so its not that…..but I have recently spoken to people who bought their fish from the same company and the same has happened to them, so Im guessing its disease and poor housekeeping from the business itself, although their tanks look clean etc there must be disease within.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 2:45 am - Reply

      Can you please provide your exact water parameters for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? Also if you can… the exact number of gallons your tank is, if you have a substrate like sand or gravel, and what your filter cleaning schedule is.

  185. Jamie April 10, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Hey, I just woke up to my black goldfish dead and noticed blood from its Gill is this a cause of something or just from death? I know I can’t do anything for it now obviously. This is not the only reason I’m here, previously I’ve had black goldfish before and all have seem to have died early on within 2 weeks to a month, is this common? Am I doing something wrong? All other goldfish are fine including a shabumkin and normal goldfish and have had for years now. I wasn’t keen on getting another one for this reason but thought I would try again, but now the same thing again years later?
    Thanks Jamie πŸ™‚

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 3:53 am - Reply

      Hi Jamie! Have you cycled the tank prior to getting fish?

  186. Elle April 10, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply


    I cleaned my 30 gallon tank 2 days ago, changed about 50% of the water, and rinsed out the outside filter because it was slimy. I woke up this morning and my two large goldfish have a white film on them and one is in a nose down position at the bottom of the tank. I think she’s dying and I’m so upset. My other fish has the white film as well but is not yet as sick.

    From what I’ve read, I think they have a bacterial infection and require antibiotics, possibly Maracyn II. I’m waiting for the pet store to open so that I can go get something to help them. What should I do? Do I change the water and filter again? I’m afraid they will die before I can help them.

    What caused this to happen? Did I over-clean the tank? take out too much water? should I have not cleaned out the outside filter?

    I would appreciate any help you can provide. I love my fish.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 3:54 am - Reply

      Antibiotics will probably make things worse, not better. Do 100% water changes daily and clean the filter with each water change, as there is no such thing as an over-clean tank.

  187. Elle April 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I just changed 50% of the water and the filter.

    I tested the water with the following results:
    pH: 6.4 added 6 drops pH Up=no change; added 6 more drops pH Up – will test again soon
    Nitrate: 10
    Nitrite: 0
    Amonia: 0

    I’m afraid to change the pH too much – what do you think?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 3:55 am - Reply

      Your pH is definitely too low, try adding crushed coral or oyster shells to the tank to raise it up if your pH is low directly from the tap.

  188. richard April 10, 2016 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Hi my daughter’s goldfish has developed a cloudy eye, just the one fish has this there are 4 in the tank.
    Think it may have scratched the eye on a now removed decoration, however it also seems to be struggling for air and it’s top fin is clamped down, any ideas??

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 3:56 am - Reply

      Sounds like the fish is having problems with water quality. What size is the tank?

  189. ben April 10, 2016 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    my fish has the symptoms of acting lethargic but the other fish are just fine belly not red maybe bloat but all 4 fish are 1 in and could not consume a pea

  190. ben April 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I just moved the goldfish to a new tank. he is still lying on the bottom with a bloated stomach. he drifted into a plant and got stuck earlier.
    I don’t know what to do please help

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 11, 2016 at 3:57 am - Reply

      It may be too late for him to turn around, you may want to consider euthanasia…

  191. Sophie April 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Hello, my fish has been unwell for a while. He is always on the gravel and has a bloated stomach and bulging eyes, he has also slightly raised scales but I wasn’t sure if they were raised enough for it to be dropsy? I have two other fish and they are also showing signs of slightly misshapen stomachs today. The water smells very sour although I do regularly clean the tank. Not entirely sure what to do, I would preferably not put the fish down but I feel aweful leaving it in such a state, thank you

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 12, 2016 at 4:06 am - Reply

      If the scales are even slightly raised, then yes, it is dropsy. How regularly are you changing the water and what percentage?

      • Sophie April 12, 2016 at 9:01 am - Reply

        I am changing it weekly but about 90%

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish April 13, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

          Depending on the size of your tank, you may need to be doing more than that to keep the water quality clean.

  192. Tina April 11, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Hi! Great site πŸ™‚ I own a goldfish who is now 27 years old. She has been living in a pond with one koi, 2 other goldfish and a shubunkin. Since noticing the problem, she has now been moved indoors. She rushes up to the surface, then goes down to the bottom, releasing the air she has taken in. She goes around in a head down position but will occasionally swim around. She does this routine all day and probably night, too. She is not eating and has just passed white poo. She has no other physical symptoms and the pond water was tested recently showing no problems. All other fish are okay. Throughout her years she has had no problems with health matters.

    Any advice, please?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 12, 2016 at 4:14 am - Reply

      Thank you Tina! πŸ™‚ It could be flukes, but it would take a microscope to know that for sure. What size of a tank is she in now, and is there any filtration? Are you changing the water? If she does not eat, my advice is do not feed.

  193. Tina April 12, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

    At present she is in a 80 litre tank (I know, probably too small :(), sponge filtration and water changes daily. Where could she have picked up flukes from? Pond is secluded on a balcony, netting and protected from elements. Can fish contract parasites from eating house flies? Just curious, because the goldies have been known to catch some…

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 13, 2016 at 2:12 am - Reply

      If you have gotten any new fish lately, it could be from those. I don’t think house flies transmit parasites to fish, either way I would keep up the water changes and observe her behavior closely.

      • Tina April 13, 2016 at 6:29 am - Reply

        No new fish. Will do as you advise, thank you πŸ™‚

  194. Beatriz April 12, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    I bought 2 comet goldfishes and a betta and placed them in the same tank. They were all sitting at the bottom of the tank. Then I read about the fact that I cant put them together so i placed the betta in a smaller tank with a heater and he’s doing better. I placed conditioner in both of the tanks and an air pump with an oxygen releasing rock in the comets’ tank. They are better but rarely swim to the surface and move in a weird way (not swim bladder) Its like they swim to the front and shake 1 time, than move a bit to the front and shake again. What’r wrong?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 13, 2016 at 2:19 am - Reply

      Probably ammonia. I would test for it.

  195. Hannah April 13, 2016 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Hi! I got two goldfish Saturday night and they seemed to be doing well. I didn’t have a tank yet but kept them in a clean vase of bottle water water for a day then cleaned the water and did the same for another day. I then bought a five gallon tank with a filter for the two and treated the water and then put the fish in the water. The next day I could not tell if they were sleeping or not doing well, and when I came home that afternoon both of them died.
    I feel awful! What did I do wrong?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 13, 2016 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Hi Hannah, it sounds like your fish experienced New Tank Syndrome. This happens as a result of the tank not being cycled ahead of time.

  196. keneddy April 14, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Thnx for the perfect article
    I wanted to know how i can cure the bacteria that causes white and hollow spool?
    My fish is not interested in eating any more ?
    Shall i keep him away from other goldfish?
    In qarantine bowl ?

  197. keneddy April 14, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I mean white and hollow poop ?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 16, 2016 at 4:02 am - Reply

      White poop doesn’t always mean bacteria, if the fish acts fine it could be constipation (not eating would point to that too), unless your water quality is having problems… in either case, definitely don’t use a bowl to quarantine.

  198. falak April 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    hello.. m really glad that i found this site.. m totally inexperienced but love pets.. i decided to get an aquarium two weeks ago..i hv one goldfish in approx 15 litres bowl, have sponge purifier.. he got a small white fuzzy dot on his dorsal fin. i called the pet store and they advised me to use anti -ich.. i did but the fish seem to be getting sick as itz dwelling at the bottom of bowl barely moving.. sometimes gets fits n swims erratically but soon drowns bck to itz spot in the bottom as if itz drowning.. nw his whole body z covered wd white fuzzy stuff n the caudal fin is like breaking into frills.. i didnt change the water as often as i should have as per this article.. i hv no means to chk n test water.. nw aftr reading the article,, i changed the water regularly.. the fish seems to come up smetymz n is not swimming erratically.. but is completely covered in white powder n the scales are coming off too.. plz help.. is it gonna be ok.. i dnt want to lose my frst pet as i hv plans to get more fish.. plz tell me the ways to recover it.. i knw the damage is done.. is there any provision of his survival,,

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 16, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

      Only hope is to change the water 75% every day and don’t feed. Scales coming off mean that the water is severely out of whack. Your tank is too small for one goldie, part of why he is sick because the water goes bad too fast, they need 40 l for fancies.

      • falak April 16, 2016 at 5:41 am - Reply

        thnx a lot.. he passed away yesterday.. i wl keep in mind all the info before i start a new aquarium now so that i dnt hv to lose any fish.. πŸ™

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish April 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm - Reply

          Sorry for your loss πŸ™

  199. Jim Natale April 14, 2016 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Hey thanks for the good complication of all the goldfish illnesses.
    My goldfish Reb is starting to act lethargic. He’s about 3-4 inches and bought him as a feeder back last June with 10 others. Now I have 4, lost some but these are my strongest left. I am sorta worried about his guy because he’s on of the originals on starting my aquarium hobby. He’s in a 40 gallon tank with gravel substrate, good filtration and some Java fern. I know this tank is smaller or too small. But I do have an upgrade soon and Indo have good filtration and aeration. I have good water quality in terms of amonia and nitrite but excess nitrates have resulted in green water. Algea -_-. I haven’t checked Ph yet but I haven’t added anything that would shift it. What do you think is wrong? He’s lethargic and isn’t eating. I all of them a mix of pellets and flake food.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 16, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

      Sure πŸ™‚ A 40 gallon tank can’t sustain 10 goldfish, no matter how good the filtration is. What is likely happening is toxic buildup leading to bad bacteria, causing the fish to feel bad. If he isn’t eating, don’t feed. In fact, I would hold off feeding for a good while because food will only foul the system more.

  200. Kim April 16, 2016 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Hello in really need your expert advice.
    I’ve had 3 ranchu (8 months old) for 2 weeks. They are in a 180l tank with Eheim cannister filter 2215 and 2 large air stones. I’ve tested the water parameters daily and readings are: ph 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate 5. I change the water weekly and feed them every other day Tetra Japan sinking pellets.
    For the last 2 days (last water change of 90% as water was really dirty and ammonia was 0.5), one of the ranchu is just floating mid tank and not moving. He doesn’t even move to get food which is quite concerning. He is now lodged in between a live plant and resting. What can be the problem? I’m quite scared as he was healthy and moving before. My other ranchu developed white cottony spots on his head this morning so I’m concerned as well. What do you think I should do? Is a water chage necessary even though the parameters are normal? Please help. Thank you.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 16, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Probably an effect of that ammonia spike. .5 is pretty high. Yes, with a new tank, parameters can change suddenly without warning so water changes are mandatory.

      • Jose June 21, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

        My fish, a black moor, has a bump toward its stomach. Its been with me for more than half a year and this problem has started not to long ago. Before that this is how it went. I feel like I know nothing about my fish, so then I fed it twice a day, it has another mate but I can’t recall the name, they would both eat but black moor seemed to take all of the food and keep on eating. And to make matters worse I haven’t cleaned the tank in a while. It got worse so I cleaned the tank, and added something that cleans and removes chlorine from tap water. I would only like to know if it’s a tumor, constipation, etc. here are the symptoms. Floating in the surface of the water, upside down, keeps opening and clothing mouth constantly, even with no food in front of it, the bump is white, every once in a while it does swim around but has trouble doing it, doesn’t want to eat, doesn’t poop. That’s about it. Please tell what I should do as I am very concerned of its health.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish June 21, 2016 at 3:50 am - Reply

          Hard to say what the bump is without a photo, maybe you could post one in the forums? As to the other symptoms… it sounds like the fish is doing very poorly from water poisoning. If you went for a while without cleaning the tank the ammonia probably was high for a long time, causing burns and damage to the fish. If the fish isn’t eating then I’m sorry to say but I think it would be kindest to euthanize. :'(

          • Jose June 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

            Well I don’t know what to say, thank you but I can’t settle to euthanize it. Im starting to put it in a diet of peas, hand feading it. Last Saturday I bought this product search it up if you feel like it, Jungle Lifeguard All in One Treatment and my fish really took a turn for the good. It’s more active, and overall better. I’m hoping that with the peas and this treatment will be able to bring it to health. Hopefully giving the fish a chance to empty its waste, and be able to eat. Thank you really for givin me your time. But I can’t settle to euthanize.

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish June 22, 2016 at 4:14 am - Reply

              Glad to hear he turned around, Jose πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your success.

  201. Tob April 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Hey I love the website and I have found it super helpful but I have a question about my telescope eye goldfish. He is swimming around and eating fine but his dorsal fin is kind of droopy and I know it is not clamped fin, he seems fine but I just want to double check to make sure all is well

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 19, 2016 at 4:24 am - Reply

      Happy to hear you find it useful, Tob! Droopy dorsals usually mean the fish is feeling droopy. I would definitely check the water parameters.

      • Tob April 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

        Every thing was normal

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish April 27, 2016 at 4:12 am - Reply

          If the fish is acting fine otherwise, I would just keep an eye on things and keep the water extra clean. It is also possible that the dorsal is collapsing with age due to genetics.

          • Tob May 3, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

            thanks again He has a bit of a swim bladder problem and I have been feeding him pees daily. He is getting better, I just wanted to know if there was anything else I could do for him

            • Pure Goldfish
              Pure Goldfish May 4, 2016 at 4:07 am - Reply

              Clean water, minimal feeding πŸ™‚

              • Tob May 6, 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply

                I feed him every other day and I feed him blood worms and peas is that enough, to little or good

                • Tob May 7, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

                  Hi. I have been feeding him like I said but not much has changed. He hasn’t got any better but he hasn’t got any worse, I noticed he only really sways to the side that his dorsal is leaning to I don’t know whether that is irrelevant or not but I was wondering if there was anything more I could do. He is eating fine and poops so its just his swim bladder. Thanks!

                  • Pure Goldfish
                    Pure Goldfish May 9, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

                    How much/often are you changing the water, and what size tank is he in? Also, do you have any gravel or filtration?

                • Pure Goldfish
                  Pure Goldfish May 9, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

                  Every day feeding is recommended, I would check out our feeding article on the subject if you haven’t already.

                  • Tob May 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

                    Thank you he is in a 37 gallon tank all by himself and it has been getting worse so we just put in antibiotics. We change his water every third day he has gravel and a filter and a bubbler. This fish is the world to me so any extra help would be greatly appreciated.

                    • Pure Goldfish
                      Pure Goldfish May 12, 2016 at 4:00 am

                      That gravel is likely the problem. I do not recommend the use of antibiotics on goldfish, especially if it’s anaerobic bacteria poisoning which is likely the case. Take all the gravel out and clean the filter every day is my advice, as well as do large water changes daily.

                    • Tob May 12, 2016 at 11:38 am

                      just out of curiosity how is the gravel involved

                    • Pure Goldfish
                      Pure Goldfish May 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm

                      Gravel is a great place for anaerobic bacteria to breed. This suppresses the fish’s immune system. A layer of gravel usually = health issues.

  202. Brooke April 20, 2016 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Hello! I am thoroughly impressed by the amount of knowledge you have on this topic. I have two goldfish recently won from a fair (the fair was on this past Saturday, so I haven’t had the fish for very long). Their names are John (about 1 1/2 inch long) and Sherlock (about 1 1/4 inch long). I’m assuming that they are both fairly young comet goldfish as they both have largely brown bodies, though John is more orange than Sherlock is. Anyway, they were transported home in a large solo cup and I put them into a 1 gallon tank we had left over from years ago for guppies my family used to have. Once we put them in the tank and fed them, they really perked up, especially once they got acquainted with the faux plant and hideaway decoration we put in there.
    Yesterday (Monday) I saw that Sherlock was swimming around with his fins clamped, and John was doing it a bit also, so I changed the tank water. John was also swimming directly into Sherlock and pushing him into the sides of the tank, as well as into the decorations.
    Today, Sherlock was even less active, especially compared to John, who was swimming around normally. His fins were still clamped. We put Sherlock into the other tank we had on hand (a .5 gallon, I know, really small) and he immediately perked up and swam around. However, he has a reddish? colored dot (less than a mm) on his left gill covering. It doesn’t seem to be an actual hole, nor is it on the edge of his gill covering. It first looked as if he had a piece of food on it since it’s just a spot that is darker than the shiny orange gill cover. He’s been eating fine this whole time, and in the new bowl, he is much more active. We plan on getting a much larger tank for the two probably the end of this week or next.
    Are there any other symptoms I should be looking for in case this is the beginning of an illness? He’s essentially in a quarantine tank at the moment, so John should be fine. Is there anything else we should do? Oh, and water quality should be fine because their water has been changed already and we put AquaSafe in it to treat it. Thanks!

  203. Brooke April 20, 2016 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Update: I just looked at Sherlock from above and it looked like he wasn’t moving the gill plate with the spot as much as his other. I don’t know if this is important or not.
    Hopefully you can offer some sort of advice. In the few days I’ve had John and Sherlock, I’ve already grown quite attached to them and I’m quite worried πŸ™

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 20, 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

      Hey Brooke πŸ™‚ A .5 gallon container will get foul very quickly. I would recommend moving him to something with more water volume like, say, a Tupperware bin until you can get a tank, and changing the water every day. Those red dots are usually from water that goes bad from the fish waste and their breathing.

      • Brooke April 22, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

        Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, the following morning, i turned on the light to change the water and feed him, and I found him dead. :'( John is losing the brown coloring, so I’m thinking that the brown might’ve been left over from ammonia burns. Being from a fair, he probably saw some terrible water conditions before I got him, and is now just healing. Talking to other people who got fish from the same fair, for the most part, the fish died within a day or two, so with how Sherlock was acting the first day in comparison to John, I’m amazed he lived as long as he did. Well, I just hope that for those few days, he was able to get some reprieve from whatever was ailing him. Hopefully John will continue to do well. Thanks again! πŸ™‚

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish April 23, 2016 at 4:23 am - Reply

          Sorry for your loss πŸ™ And yes, hope John stays healthy and strong!

  204. Anon_M April 24, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    So last week we found fish in front of our house. One was a koi, long gone due to predators (perhaps cats) and the other was there on the ground remarkably alive. We assume someone owns a pond nearby? Regardless, we’ve been holding onto him/her until we can find it a new owner. We decided to call the fish Lucky for now. Anyways, Lucky is about 6inches, a big gold fish in my book. My parents kept him/her in a tall bowl but I moved it to a clear storage bin filled half way up. (Lucky needed the room to move as well as the surface area for oxygen exchange)

    The reason I’m contacting you is because Lucky is barely eating if at all. When we first found him/her it was a bit plump but has slimmed down. Lucky doesn’t seem an unhealthy weight though. We’ve been trying to feed him/her flakes. I give them flakes once a day and only a small amount and he/she doesn’t tough it. Occasionally I see white stuff in the tank but it’s not long white poop nor is any of the white on the fish itself. When Lucky does go (rarely) it’s clear/whitish but normal in length. I’m not sure if it’s because of Lucky’s prior diet, lack of eating, or illness. There has been some flashing but Lucky charges at the sides of the tank but doesn’t scratch. Though there isn’t much for lucky to scratch against regardless to know. Lucky doesn’t have anything visually unusual except for cuts to his fins from the cats(?). I change the water constantly to make up for the fact there isn’t a filter. Lucky leaves the food which dirties the water fast. I was curious what I could do for Lucky in the meantime until we get him/her a new home. I don’t want any of the other fish in that environment getting ill as well.

    Apologies for the length and I hope I hear back soon. I felt that it should be important to include all the details.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 27, 2016 at 4:00 am - Reply

      If Lucky isn’t eating the flakes, those are likely contaminating the water. I would definitely advise no feeding during this time other than maybe some lettuce or other leafy veggies to munch on. Just how much are you changing the water?

      • Anon_M April 30, 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

        We ended up already giving the fish away. Thank you for the reply though. They are in a much nicer tank now (50 gallons for two) but I’m unsure if Lucky is eating now. They seem to have a lot of energy though. I guess Lucky has been handed on though so I shouldn’t keep holding onto my feeling of responsibility.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish May 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

          I’m sure you did what was best.

  205. Alexi April 25, 2016 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    My fish is still eating right and he is still his normal self, but he has had ick come and go but this is about the worse case of ick he has ever had. He has redness throughout the veins of his tail fins, and he has about 12 small dots on him (both fins total) with them about a hair slightly raised and one of his tail fins is bent and very red at the crease. Is there anything I can do? I have had Bob for about a year and a him and I really love him. <3 Any Advice?


    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 27, 2016 at 4:02 am - Reply

      Redness through the tail is a sign of a water problem, Alexi, and isn’t associated with ich. The white spots could very well be an immune reaction. I would definitely look into the water situation. Hope Bob does better soon! πŸ™‚

  206. Bethany April 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Hi! I’m a new goldfish owner, and my buddy’s name is Frisk. Aptly named, as he seems to get very excited whenever someone walks past his tank or gives him attention. X) He has been perfectly healthy since I got him 2 months ago, until the past week. He has a small, darker patch “growing” on his head. It’s not pitch black, and doesn’t seem to bother him, but I wanted to be proactive in case it is an issue..
    It kinda looks like someone drew on him with sharpie, and tried to wipe it off but it left a residue. Not all the way opaque, ya know? It’s the best I can do for a description. :/ Any ideas?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 30, 2016 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Sounds like ammonia burns. I would definitely change the water.

      • Bethany April 30, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the advice! The patch is getting a little better since I changed his water 2 days ago. I’ll have to do that more often! I’m just glad it isn’t ick…

  207. Romeo (the fish) April 29, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Pure Goldfish,

    My Fancy goldfish has developed hard grape like tumours on the top blade part of his fins and every week I see a redness- which seems to indicate new growth. I have done water changes and checked ammonia levels- through a tester strip and put some of the treatment in t the water, but it seems to be getting worse. Other than this he is chirpy right now- but he has had other health issues including constipation and a red spot on his head that has now healed. He’s about 10 years old and in a 25ltr tank. I can’t find a fish friendly vet, any advice?

    It’s been so hard to find information, so thank you for posting this site.

    Romeo’s mum!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 30, 2016 at 3:54 am - Reply

      Those are all symptoms of water quality problems, especially tumors. Ammonia is very important but so are nitrite, nitrate and pH. Knowing those can be beneficial to figuring out what is going on, but either way water changes and lots of them are mandatory.

  208. Madeline May 1, 2016 at 2:09 am - Reply

    My goldfish is aiming on his side and I put Hin in new water and he still is dying. I had 2 fish and they were fine, but when I got 2 more, one died and the oThera dying. Should I put the two other fish in a separate bowl. Please write back ASAP I’m soo scares

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 2, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

      It may be too late, but I wouldn’t put them in a bowl. It’s not safe for more than a couple of hours (if that). Don’t take them out, focus on cleaning the water on the main tank.

  209. Jacob May 2, 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Hi. I have just become the owner of a 2″ long comet gold fish which haven’t been sexed and I have no idea on how old it might be. This particular fish has had to survive 2 months with no food or a filter so when we found him he was starving hungry and was swimming in stagnant water. I have had him for just over 36 hours and there are already a few symptoms. Firstly he is taking breaths at the top of the tank (like you said) but he only does it when I turn my lights on, which is what id do when I feed him, and stops when I turn them on. I also think he is going blind in his left eye as it is a faint, hazy red colour whilst his right eye is black. We are also aware that he is breathing rapidly most of the time. If you could help me identify and troubleshoot these problems that would be brilliant.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 4, 2016 at 4:04 am - Reply

      Hey Jacob! What size of tank is he in right now? Is the tank cycled?

      • Jacob May 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply

        He’s now in a 40 litre tank. We added Interpet Bioactive Tapsafe to the water and added about 2 litres of his old water to the tank when we transferred him.

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish May 6, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

          More space is definitely something he will appreciate. However I would advise stepping up water changes because when transferring to a new tank, there is hardly any beneficial bacteria. They don’t live in the water itself – they live on surfaces like the filter and walls of the tank. This can lead to problems with an ammonia or nitrite surge. Also, feeding sparingly is very important during that time.

  210. Callum Gordon May 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Hi ,
    I have a silver gold fish. He or she is still a bit small but I saw his back and a bit on his or hers tail and face, black. All of the top half of its body is black? I remember cleaning the tank out and putting him in warm water.
    Please come back he has kept me going for 2 years.
    Will I have to kill him at extreme because of suffering?
    Callum Gordon

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 4, 2016 at 4:05 am - Reply

      Is the black new? It could be an ammonia burn…

  211. Missy May 3, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Hi. I have 2 goldfish: a male and a female (I know because they miraculously had a baby) I’ve had them for about 2 yrs now and they’ve been ‘in love’ for the entire time. But now that she spawned she won’t eat. I think she got Ick and now has recovered (back to swimming normally etc) but she won’t eat. The male hovers below her and at first I thought he was trying to encourage her to float uptop to eat but she still won’t. He keeps this hovering behavior. I must add their baby lives amongst them. Is he bullying her due to lack of space (33 gallon tank) or trying to protect her from the foreign fish? I’ve tried to research but no such luck. Help! I love my Nemo and Scarlet (and now baby Pebbles) I just want them to be happy and don’t want to separate the family.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 4, 2016 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Spawning is stressful on females as all the chasing wears them out. She might just need some time to recuperate, it might be good to separate her from the male for a bit and reintroduce later.

  212. lachlan May 5, 2016 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Hello, I was wondering what has been happening to my goldfish, Sushi; he’s been sitting at the bottom of the tank not moving but still breathing. Sushi’s got algae sort of floating around him and he’s not eating. My water quality is pretty terrible but when I clean it today will he get better? Can you please answer as fast as possible I’m afraid he’ll die.

  213. lachlan May 5, 2016 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Please still answer so I can prevent further deaths, but Sushi died 30 minuets ago… Rest In Piece Sushi.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 6, 2016 at 4:05 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear that lachlan πŸ™ Well if your water quality is pretty terrible there is your answer as to why he died right there. Goldfish have to have perfect water quality, they don’t tolerate dirtiness at all.

  214. Chantelle May 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I own a goldfish and we don’t know what gender it is. Its friend recently died. We have cleaned the water and a couple days later when we were checking up on it, it was on it’s side near the surface. We cleaned the water yet again and after a couple of minutes it started to swim normally. This is when we found that it had blood red marks on its upper body and some near the tail. We have also seen some white marks ( I don’t know how to describe it) on its fins. We have also noticed that it has quite a large tummy and we’re not sure if that is because it has eggs or if we are overfeeding it.

    Could you please let us know how to treat it and anything else that we are doing wrong.

    Thank You

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 6, 2016 at 4:06 am - Reply

      Hey Chantelle! Could you provide some more details about the setup? Such as, how large is the tank, how many fish are in there, how long the tank has been set up and feeding/water change schedule? This will help us get to the bottom of things faster!

  215. Aidan Buttigieg May 6, 2016 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Hello πŸ™‚ I have you fantail goldfish living together. Yesterday, one of them developed large red patches all over his body. I change the water once a week. Kindly let me know what can be done?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 9, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

      What size of a tank is it, Aidan, and what is your feeding regimen like? Also, knowing how long the tank has been set up is helpful too.

  216. Ian May 8, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

    So my goldfish has a left eye thats middle is greyish white and bulging out he also cant see out of it, it has been slowly growing over the past few weeks. It looks astho the skin around it is dead, any idea wats up i was thinking a parasite or somthing similar

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 9, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Sounds like a combination of pop eye with cloudy eye. That is a sign of a bacterial infection, most likely something’s up with the water.

  217. max May 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply


    thank you for setting up this forum.

    I inherited my goldfish when he was six. he is now 13 and around 9in long not including his tail. I have never know how much to feed him. most advice seems to say feed as much as they will eat in 5 minutes. He can eat a lot. I currently feed him around a teaspoon of pellets twice a day which he consumes in around 30 seconds and will ask for more. Even if we go away for the weekend I have to put a 2 week cake in as he will swallow the weekend one in a single bite. I worry that this is affecting the water quality and he has had a few of the minor ailments you have described. A water change and a general tonic has always sorted him out. can you please help… also what is the green pea diet?

    many thanks

  218. Brenda May 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I just transferred my goldfish from the inside to the outside rain barrel, where I brought him in from last fall. He was fine for the first 30 hours, now he’s on the bottom, mouth moving & gills moving, but the fins aren’t moving and sometimes he tips to the side or almost upside down.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 14, 2016 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Does it have a filter? If the water is very different it could shock him.

  219. Brenda May 12, 2016 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    I just am resending as I didn’t change my preference in the comment preference

  220. Linda May 14, 2016 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Hello I have one fish , it has two red spots on his head , otherwise he seems happy, I change his water every two weeks I have a filter , stones on the bottom and a couple of live plants. I haven’t changed anything in the tank for a couple of months and haven’t intrupoduced anything new to the tank. Peter the fish eats pellets – about 10 five times a week.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 14, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Sounds like a water quality issue. Less feeding and more water changes πŸ™‚

  221. jack May 14, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Hi, I got a fish 4 months ago now. I had 4 fish and 3 of them died in the first 2 weeks. I am now left with one goldfish.
    there are a couple of problems. about a month ago he changed colour from black to orange. at the moment, he doesn’t have any other fish with him. he is also laying at the bottom of the tank. he doesn’t do it all the time. I was going to get another fish. I clean the tank every 1-2 weeks and change the filter wool regularly. after time, a build up of algae begins to form on the side of the tank.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Color change is normal, it is not a sign of a problem.

      But the bottom sitting is a problem. It means water problems in most cases. More frequent water changes could be beneficial.

  222. MAYURI ROY CHOUDHURI May 18, 2016 at 4:44 am - Reply

    I have a 70 litre tank , 2 goldfish and 2 koi. Last week one of my goldfish developed itch and died because this is my first experience with aquarium and I was late in noticing the disease. Now my 2nd goldfish and one of the koi have developed a tiny fungal growth. I have filter and aerator running all the time. I am giving Rid All general aid, Blue medicine. Should I use salt and see? Pls help

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 23, 2016 at 4:35 am - Reply

      I wouldn’t use salt, or any meds really. Koi aren’t suitable indoor pets as they get over 3 feet long. Your tank is really overcrowded and that is causing it to be fouled up.

  223. evan May 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    hope this page is still active – two fish. Gold and black goldfish. Share a 20 litre tank. Cleaned every week. Water change 50% once a week. Fed once/twice a day. Recently black one has got huge scarring both sides. A white mark across its body as if its cut itself on something – Id love to attach a picture – ive put it in a separate tank to monitor its health/behaviour. let me know if you have any ideas

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 23, 2016 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Could be an injury, or even ulceration. Either way 50% weekly for that size of tank isn’t sufficient. And with 2x daily feeding, it’s going to foul quickly. I would highly recommend a larger tank and reduced feeding.

  224. summertimeo May 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Help! my fish has been with me for about 10 months and he has been doing great untill i noticed today that he is bleeding by his mouth and eye and i am very worried about him. He also didn’t eat his food which has never happen before. I am very concerned and i’m am wondering what is happening to him.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 23, 2016 at 4:42 am - Reply

      Responded to you in the forums πŸ˜‰

  225. sara wood May 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    My 8 year old gold fish has lost scales on its back and I am convinced the many tadpoles in the pond have eaten them. I have removed the mass of oxygenating weed in the pond which may have trapped the fish, and removed gold fish to a bowl on its own. Is there any cure for the loss of its scales on its back, which is white not gold??

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Lost scales will grow back with time and clean water, but they are from the fish scratching itself not the tadpoles.

  226. Tob May 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Hi I have my goldfish in a little dome at the bottom of the tank because he has been floating up to the top. I’ve been doing what you say and hes been in there for about a week but now he has started breathing heavy. What should I do?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 31, 2016 at 2:27 am - Reply

      Looking back at your previous comments, I see you used antibiotics. Those will have destroyed all the bacteria in the tank, good and bad. They are also very hard on the fish. :/ All you can do at this point is keep the water super clean with daily water changes and minimal feeding.

  227. Lorlar May 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I got 2 goldfish about 3 or 4months ago. I have not had 2 or 3 weeks straight without an incidence and I have been able to get them back to normal. I often change their water every 2days. However, about 5days ago, I changed the water with about 70% and I used the opportunity to change the air stone attached to the filter to a new one. Regrettable, I ran the filter to test if the air stone was working and I notice so much dirth floating in the tank, my fish started running around so I stopped the filter immediately and took them into a bowl. I did a total cleaning of the tank and ran the filter for about 24hrs after which I introduced them back into their tank. Immediately, I noticed the small fish had white films covering it’s body and it had it do close to its body. I kept changing the water daily and even twice daily but sadly the other fish is now ill as well. At some point the smaller one had red spots close to its belly but it’s cleared out now. Both have not eaten since this episode started and they hang out at the top of the tank mostly. Yesterday, I read online that the filter need to be ran so I ran it and they seem to be fine with the minimum bubbles. I’m concerned because they are not eating, seem not to be interested in anything around them and they still hang out in the top of the tank (thankfully not gasping for air). I have ran the filter for about 18hours and decided to give them a break and I only did a 40% water change as I’m not sure if the water change is stressing them(I use the siphon to get water in and out of the tank). Kindly advice on a way forward. By the way, great website absolutely my go to once they start to show some signs.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 31, 2016 at 2:30 am - Reply

      Hi there πŸ™‚ If your filter hasn’t been running until the last 18 hrs, that is the problem. Those need to be running 24/7. Water changes won’t stress your fish; rather the opposite is true. If there is a lot of crud buildup being released that is probably releasing tons of gunk and bad stuff with it that poison the fish.

  228. Vaila May 28, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I have a typical carnival goldfish that is 4 years old, and is about 6″ long. (I don’t know what gender). I feed it TetraFin fish food 3 times a day, for “breakfast”, “lunch”, and “dinner”. Over the last year, it has developed bumps on its sides, a big one on it dorsal fin (the one on the dorsal fin is probably about a half inch by a half inch), and one on it nose. They have a almost invisible clear white film over them. It is living in a 45 gallon tank, with a fake rock in it, gravel covering the bottom, and a MarineLand BioWheel200 filter in it. There was a 6-8 month period where the water chemistry was probably bad. I had put it into a bigger tank, and changed the water less often, not realizing I had to pay better attention to the water chemistry. I’ve been treating it the last couple of months (with the treatments listed below), thinking it has been a fungal or bacterial infection. Nothing seems to be working. I check the PH every now and then, but it is always good,(and if it is too low, which happens occasionally, I put some Ph Up in the tank). It seems happy and is still active and eating. Sometimes it will hover a bit and lean very slightly to one side, and I don’t know why. The lumps are darker than its scales, almost exactly the color of its face. I’ve tried changing it water, cleaning the algae off the sides of the tank, putting in API Fungus Care and Parasitic Fish Disease, API Stress Zyme, giving it a Methylene Blue General Disease treatment, and nothing seems to be helping. Is there anything that I can do to help it? Can we send pictures?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 31, 2016 at 2:36 am - Reply

      First, take out the gravel. Second, stop feeding so frequently. Goldfish only need one meal a day of processed foods like flakes or pellets. Third, change the water every day. Those lumps are likely tumors, growths from prolonged exposure to bad water quality. Things need to turn around fast for them not to get worse. Sorry if that sounds blunt, but it’s the straight facts πŸ˜‰

  229. Amanda May 29, 2016 at 5:07 am - Reply

    I have had my fish “Flash” for a couple months now and it is literally the zillionth fish I have had. My dad and I always do the cleaning, feeding and all. Keep in mind I am 14 and have had many fish trying to learn as I go because I just keep making mistakes. I don’t think we check the water for Ammonia or anything like that. We just changed the filter today, by that I mean we replaced the whole motor part of it with a new and bigger one. The water has been filled with algae for the last week and we just got around to cleaning it this morning. Flash was completely fine all day today. I was just about to go to bed when I went it to check on him and he was in the front left corner of the tank sitting on the bottom. He had white peelings like his skin shed. He looks dead. He is the only organism I have in the tank, my dad said we are going to keep him in there for the night and in the morning if he hasn’t moved then we will flush him. I really don’t want him dead. I don’t think my mom is going to allow me to get another fish because every fish I get seems to die within a couple months. Except, I had one fish for 8 months but that’s the best I had. When we discovered Flash dead, we saw that the water was 77Β° and the guy at Petco said they are okay from I believe 65-75?? Not sure but I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to kill anymore fish. I feel bad. Help I want to know why he died! That’s all I’ve ever wanted after my fish have deceased. I cannot count how many fish I have had in the last year! Help me please!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 31, 2016 at 2:39 am - Reply

      The temperature isn’t what killed Flash. 77F is fine for goldfish. A couple of questions…

      What size tank is it? Do you have gravel? How often are you changing the filter and the tank water? What is your feeding schedule like?

      These will all provide clues into what is happening πŸ™‚

      • Amanda June 8, 2016 at 2:25 am - Reply

        it’s a 10 gallon tank. we had black gravel and plastic plants. well we used to clean it every month but the most recent time, we changed it in 2 weeks because the water got very cloudy and green. my friend who is a fish fanatic told me that it could have possibly been the instant fix in water quality, cloudy (so you couldn’t even see the other side of the tank) to clear as can be. Petco told my dad not to change more than 1/3 of the fishtank when cleaning but the last time we had changed it (the afternoon before he died) we literally kept like 1/8 of the whole fishtank, which i fear had something to do with his death πŸ™
        my dad fed Flash a pinch in the morning and a pinch at nighttime.

        hope i can find some answers πŸ™‚

        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish June 8, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

          More water taken out is better, unless your tank is so cloudy and green (high nitrates) that it could shock them to change it so much. Overfeeding and not enough water changes will cause the tank to be too dirty and foggy. Hope that answers your questions πŸ™‚

      • Amanda June 8, 2016 at 2:35 am - Reply

        oh and when i say the fractions of the fish tank i meant the fish tank water just to clarify haha

  230. Vaila May 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your reply,
    I have a few questions for you…
    Is that all of the treatment that I need to help it?
    Should I continue any treatment at all?
    When you say that I need to change all of its water every day, (it lives in a 45 gallon tank, and we changed all of the water 2 days ago), can I just change 25% of the water every day?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 1, 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

      Salt treatment combined with lots of fresh water are what’s needed to treat ich. I would go for more if possible, just be sure the bottom is spotless and the filters are not harboring crud.

  231. Jade June 1, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    I bought 2 fancy goldfish today and the white one keeps going at the bottom of the tank, not balancing properly, and not eating..
    What do i do?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 1, 2016 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Change the water, you’ve got New Tank Syndrome most likely :/