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Gold Fish Care

History of Goldfish
External Parts of the Goldfish
Aquarium Basics
Aquarium Setup
How to Maintain Water Quality
Fish Bowls
How to Clean the Aquarium
Goldfish Varieties
Oranda Goldfish
Ryukin Goldfish
Pearscale Goldfish
Redcap Oranda Goldfish
Lionhead Goldfish
Veiltail Goldfish
Fantail Goldfish
Black Moor Goldfish
Bubble Eye Goldfish
Celestial Goldfish
Common Gold fish
Comet Goldfish
Egg Goldfish
Jinkins Goldfish
Pompons Goldfish
Ranchu Goldfish
Telescope Goldfish
Wakins Goldfish
Black Dragon Eye
Shubunkin Goldfish
Auto Feeders
Feeder goldfish
Breeding Goldfish
Goldfish Healthcare
Goldfish Diseases
Steps for Building a Pond

Goldfish Diseases

A list of common diseases and infections encountered by Goldfish is given below.

Anchor Worm

If you find your Goldfish rubbing itself against anything in its tank, it probably has anchor worms. An anchor worm is a white stick-like structure that hooks itself onto the fish. You will notice a red ring at the point of attachment.


Fins held close to body, especially in liverbearing fish.


Fish bloated with scales standing out. Fish resembles a pine cone.


Flesh eaten away around mouth, tail or fin. Possible redness at the base area.


Thread-like worm hanging from fish. Base of anchor worm may be red. Nodules or reddish pimples on skin may be seen.


White or grey cottony growth or patch on any part of the fish.


Gills hang partly open and may pump fast. Gills may appear red.


Red streaks on fins or body with no sign of skin damage.


White, sugar-like crystals on fins or body of fish.

Black Spot

Following ammonia surges, black spots might appear on the back and sides of your Goldfish.These spots should disappear within two weeks and its place should be replaced by fresh orange colouration.


Gills hang partly open and may pump fast. Gills may appear red.

If you notice excessive slime coat, isolation, clamped fins, scratching, sores and ulcers, your fish is probably suffering from flukes. If your fish has gill flukes you will find it gasping for air on the surface of the water. Usually Potassium Permanganate, Droncit, Fluketabs and Formalin are used to treat flukes. You will have to continue with the treatment a little after all symptoms have subsided as sometimes fluke eggs and larvae may be left behind and if not killed they will attack your fish again.


This disease is caused normally after your fish has suffered aninjury. Parasites attack the wound and this disease can soon spread
to other healthy fish. This disease can cause some serious damage like severely affecting the gills.

The symptoms of this disease include clamped fins and breathing problems. The fish will become lethargic and spend a lot of time at the bottom of the tank. Sometimes, a whitish blue pigment cov ers their body. Treating this can be tricky and it's best for you to get help from a vet or from the pet store from which you bought the fish.

Clamped Fins

Your fish's fins will look clamped if the water in which it is housed is of poor quality. The presence of parasites in the water also causes this condition. If this occurs, get the water checked for the level of ammonia, pH and nitrites.


Fins held chose to body, especially in livebearing fish


Most goldfish suffer from constipation at least once in their lives. They don't have the strongest digestive system. If you feel thatyour fish is constipated, feed it peas which acts as a mild laxative.


If you find your fish's scales sticking out, it is probably due to dropsy. This is a bacterial infection that normally kills fish.

Dropsy is not a specific disease, but rather a condition where the fish's abdomen becomes swollen. It causes concentration of the fluids in the body tissues or cavities. This results in swelling of the fish's abdomen, thus creating a pinecone effect.

The scales protrude from the body. A sudden swelling of the abdomen (scales may stick out) is known as acute dropsy while a slow swelling of the abdomen is known as chronic dropsy. The actual cause of this swelling could be one of several conditions: Acute Dropsy - Internal bacterial infection can cause internal bleeding and thus cause acute dropsy.

Chronic Dropsy - cancer: In this case, the abdomen is slow to swell as the cancer affects the fish's internal organs. If the fish is not isolated in the early stages of the disease, it could spread to otherfish that are being housed with the ill fish.

Chronic Dropsy - parasites: Internal parasites can cause dropsy(abdominal swelling) because they are rather large parasites or because of the damage they are causing with the fish's organs.

The abdomen tends to swell over a period of time if the fish is infested with internal parasites. It is best to isolate the sick fish at once to help maintain the outbreak of disease with other fish!

Goldfish are said to be somewhat more prone to dropsy than other fish. In some cases it is caused by a Costia Infection. Be careful when making this decision. Some fish could be spawning Symptoms: The body will have a general swelling with protrusion of scales. The eyes may even bulge.


Dropsy is not very contagious. The earlier it is caught the more likely treatment will be helpful. It is best to up the water temp to about 82-86 degrees and use epsom salts (1/8 teaspoon of epsom salts per 5 gallons) instead of aquarium salts because they will help the fish to lose some of the fluid that has built up. (It is common to think that salts would help, but in reality the fish isbloating and having a hard time ridding its body of fluid; whereas the epsom salts will "draw out toxins"). It is also wise to increase aeration since the temps will be higher. Water quality is very important at this time. This will have to be tried for about 2 weeks. Now if you think the fish is suffering from parasites you will need to treat for them first.


This salt grain-like looking parasite affects most fish. The Ichtyopthirius attaches itself to the body of the fish and feeds off the Goldfish. They fall to the bottom of the tank in a couple of days where they lay eggs and the cycle continues. This can sometimes kill your fish if not treated thoroughly and rapidly.

Fin Rot

Fin rot occurs when your goldfish has injured itself and bacteria grow on the wound. You will notice a whitish colouring on the edge of the fins. If not treat quickly, this will lead to a fungainfection.

Fish Leech

Leeches are worm-like parasites that feed on blood. There are around 300 species of leech that attack fish. The wound caused by the leech's suckers could sometimes get fungal and bacterial infections. If affected by leeches, your fish will rub itself against the tank. A 3% salt dip will take care of the leeches. Don't try pulling out the leeches without the salt dip as this will injure your fish. There are medicines available at pet stores as well.

Fish Lice

Fish lice are greenish disk shaped creature that is about a fifth of an inch in length. You will notice your fish rubbing itself against the tank walls when affected by these lice. The places in which the lice attach themselves turn red. You can pluck these out manually from your fish. You have to do this quickly as they reproduce very fast.


There are many types of fungi and can be brokendown into different categories. The most common is a bacterial infection that forms white cotton-like patches. If you notice this, be sure to take your fish to a vet immediately.

Hole-in-the-head Disease

Sometimes a small hole appears on the fish's body that later develop into tubular eruptions with cream-colored or yellow strings of mucus. If you notice this, you should put the fish in a separate tank and take it to a vet.

Pop Eye

If you find out fish's eyes popping out, it is the first sign of dropsy. You can prevent the occurrence of this deadly disease with medicines. Pop eye can affect pond and aquarium fishes. The progress of the disease depends on what is or has caused it. Bulging eyes can result from a number of causes, including fish tuberculosis, ichthyosporidium, dropsy, and bacterial infections.


One or both eyes protrude abnormally. (remember some fish are bred to have protruding eyes ex: fancy goldfish)Treatment: Use anti-parasite and anti-bacterial treatments

Scale Loss

If you find you fish losing scales for no apparent reason, you should immediately change the water and treat the tank for all possible parasites.

Slime Disease

This is another disease caused by parasites and if not treated in time, it could kill your fish.The symptoms of this disease include frayed fins, sluggishness, loss in coloration and damaged gills. Treatment of this disease is a two-step process. One, you will have to treat your fish with medicines and two, you will have to thoroughly clean the tank.

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