Health Concerns for Goldfish
Most of the diseases that threaten goldfish can be cured. But better still these diseases can be prevented. While you should be
alert to symptoms of a sick goldfish, you should first of all try and prevent them from happening. Some of the common diseases that you must protect your Goldfish include:
Simply called as Ick, this is the most common disease that strikes down goldfish. Ick is a parasite that attaches to the goldfish body. Causes: This happens when the undue stress is put on the goldfish due to bad water conditions, fluctuations in the temperature and an overall poor quality of maintenance. 49
Symptoms: Look for small white spots that look like salt grain on the goldfish's skin, fins and gills.
What happens: This parasite attached to the goldfish when it is stressed out due to bad conditions and feed off the body of the fish. The conditions worsen when the Ick begins to lay its eggs and reproduces at a very fast pace.
Treatment: If your goldfish is a victim of Ick, treat him or her with an anti-parasite medication. Also you might have to raise the water temperature to make this medication more effective. Ask an expert and follow instructions.
How can you prevent it: You can prevent Ick from growing by making sure that you maintain the tank well with the weekly changes and keep the water fresh and pollution-free.
Another common problem that goldfish suffer from is fin rot when it looks as if parts of the fish's fins and tails are wasting away.
Causes: This is also a bacterial infection arising out of poor water conditions. Fin rot usually happens to a fish that is already suffering from something else like an injury caused by tank bites that bite. They are already weak and fall prey to this infection.
Symptom: Watch out for frayed, rotting, often pale pinky-white edged fins and blood streaks on the fin tissue.
What happens: The already stressed goldfish is infected by this bacterial infection and the fins begin to rot away. Sometimes fungus attacks cause the condition to worsen.
Treatment: You will need to treat your Goldfish with fin rot or anti-bacteria treatment to stop the disease from spreading. Try adding salt to the tank to make up for the salt that the fish has lost. Make sure that the water is pollution-free.
How to prevent it: You can prevent fin rot by making sure that the water quality is of high quality and see that you maintain it. Also it would be wise to isolate the fish that are biting their tank mates.
This is yet another bacterial infection that infects the already injured and weak goldfish that are stressed out from poor quality water. However do not confuse it with the cotton-wool disease.
Causes: Fungus is caused by the Saprolegnia and Achlya bacteria that flourish in badly maintained tanks and attack the wounds of the goldfish. Symptoms: If you see fluffy growths on the damaged wounds either on the skin or the fins of your goldfish, it's fungus.
What happens: Fungus generally manifest in injuries and wounds left by ulcers and parasites and can be very damaging to the fish.
Treatment: You would need to use standard anti-fungal medications like the pretty effective methylene blue, which might however damage the water quality. You can also use aquarium salt at a dose of 1-3g/litre.
How to prevent it: Improve water conditions because fungus never grows in a well-maintained tank with good quality water.
This is bound to happen to your glutton goldfish at some point or the other. Their body structure is such that they can't take in too much food but their nature is such that they can't stop eating!
Causes: Overeating and foods high in fat can cause a goldfish to get compacted Symptoms: Your goldfish might look a little bloated and isn't as active.
What happens: Due to their structure and overeating goldfish are compacted and this causes a problem with their ability to eat as well as digest the food they eat.
Treatment: Try giving them boiled and softened peas, which act as a mild laxative.
How to prevent it: Make sure that your goldfish get green foods and do not give them too much protein or too much fat.
Dropsy is another bacterial infection that infects the fish within its body causing the scales to stick out. It is dangerous and often the fish die. Causes: Dropsy is brought on by, again, water quality that has a very high ammonia and nitrite content.
Symptoms: Be alert for signs of body swelling and scales that seem to poke out. Sometimes even the eyes seem to bulge out.
What happens: Dropsy causes the fish to retain fluid and swell up. Swelling of the body cavity due to a build-up of fluid. Scales become raised giving a pinecone-like appearance. One or both of the eyes may be protruded. Treatment: Dropsy is pretty fatal and hard to cure. Your best bet is a broad-spectrum anti- bacteria treatment. You could add salt to prevent salt loss.
How to prevent it: You must make sure that the water in your tank is of good quality. Test the water from time to time.
As the name suggests, this disease causes the eyes of the fish to pop out. It is often a symptom of impending doom.
Causes: Once again it is an infection brought on by badly maintained tanks an unhealthy water conditions.
Symptoms: Your goldfish will have eyes that protrude and kind of stick out of the eye sockets.
What happens: This pop eye is a sign of fluid retention that may lead to full fledged dropsy.
Treatment: Start with an antibacterial treatment and add salt to the aquarium.
How to prevent it: Keep the water of high quality. Maintain the tank with regular weekly water changes.
This is when the eyes of your goldfish seem as an opaque lining covered them.
Caused: It is caused by poor water quality, lack of vitamins, an unhealthy diet, and eye flukes like Diplostomum, corneal damage, and bacterial infection.
Symptoms: Your goldfish will seem to have an eye that looks cloudy and opaque rather than bright and clear.
What happens: The Goldfish's eyes might have mucus on the outer surface and the goldfish probably cannot see as well as he or she should, leading to a slowdown in the activities.
Treatment: You must immediately improve water conditions, add salt and take care that you give your goldfish some vitamin supplements.
How to prevent it: Try and ensure high quality water conditions, stick to a healthy, balanced good quality food that contains added vitamins.
Swim Bladder Disorder
More than a disease, Swim bladder disorder is a problem affecting some goldfish varieties genetically. Egg-shaped fancy goldfish seem to have this disorder more than the others. It has to do with floating and the goldfish are either sinkers or floaters.
Causes: Apart from genetic issues like physical deformities, high levels of nitrates in the water as well as not soaking the food before feeds that causes gas bring on swim bladder disorder. Bad water quality adds to the problem.
Symptoms: Your goldfish seems to be unable to either swim to the top or swim down to the bottom of the tank
What happens: Your goldfish have difficulty swimming to the surface, or to the lower levels of the tank. They also do not eat well due to gas and the bad quality water reduces their oxygen supply.
Treatment: Do improve the water conditions and give them Daphnia, which acts as a laxative. Think of an appropriate diet change and treat the fish with an anti-bacteria treatment. Fancy goldfish with physical deformities won't improve.
How to prevent it: Ensure high quality water conditions and do take care to soak the food, whether pellets or flakes, before you give it to the goldfish. Reduce the dried food that you might give.
Dane Stanton - www.goldfish-secrets.com
Dane Stanton is an expert on goldfish health care. To visit his website visit
for more information on Goldfish care and other aquarium related topics. *Recommended*
NEWS & INFORMATION resources updated Sun. September / 15 / 2019
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