Goldfish, Part IV

In this article, I will talk about goldfish diseases and why every goldfish should be quarantined before being introduced to your other fish.

First of all, if you start with healthy fish and provide the proper conditions, there should not be any health problems. I would like to point out here that when orandas are maturing and getting their head growth, they sometimes get what looks like little white patches on their head. This is sometimes mistaken for either ich or fungus and treated as so. It is not necessary to treat this; it is a normal occurrence and will disappear as the head growth comes in.

Another common mistake is when the male goldfish is in full breeding condition they will sometimes grow breeding tubercles. These are small white bumps that appear on the first ray of the pectoral fin and gill covers. Once again they can be confused with ich or fungus. It’s not necessary to treat for this. This is a good sign: if the fish are in breeding condition, they are obviously being looked after properly.

Now in my opinion most problems that I have seen with goldfish can be fixed by doing more water changes or moving the fish into larger quarters. I don’t believe in dumping a lot of medications into the aquarium or pond. If it is absolutely necessary to treat a fish, remove it into an isolation tank for treatment. This saves on medication costs as well. Also it is best not to treat fish that do not have anything wrong with them.

Blood streaks in the fins are caused from poor water quality, usually high ammonia. Do 50% or more water changes often. This should improve the water quality.

Anchor worms are parasites. These look like little white sticks sticking out from the gills or body of the fish. I had one pond that had anchor worms in it. I brought it home on one of my new goldfish and introduced it into the pond of healthy fish that I already had. First of all, this could have been avoided if I would have placed this fish in quarantine. When I asked other goldfish people and read the books that I had, I was told to take all the fish out of the pond and dry it out for a few weeks. That was a lot of work, but I tried that anyway. So I started the pond over by adding water from the other pools or ponds so there was no ammonia peaks. I put the infected fish back in, and noticed the anchor worms a couple of days later. I also treated with some sort of medication that was supposed to fix this problem. Then finally, I was told to take these parasites out of the fish when I saw them with tweezers. This is what finally worked. It left an open wound but I added salt to the water and they healed quite quickly. Remember to quarantine all new fish coming in. It’s not worth the trouble or the risk of contaminating the whole tank or pond.

Swim bladder problems are very common in goldfish. This usually affects the shorter body types, such as ryukins. As mentioned before, soaking flake foods and pellets before feeding to your fish will probably avoid this problem. There are also other causes for swim bladder problems but the above is the most common.

Other problems such as ich, fungus, and velvet can be treated with a medication from the local pet store. Just follow the directions on the package. However, raising the temperature will usually get rid of ich. Adding aquarium or sea salt will help to eliminate fungus and velvet.

This is the conclusion to this series on goldfish. These truly are beautiful fish with a lot of history. So if you have room give them a try, it’s actually quite a challenge. If you are looking for more information on goldfish, I would recommend the following books.


THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO GOLDFISH 1991 BY: The Goldfish Society of America

Goldfish Society of America`s Handbook on Goldfish Culture: The New Goldfish Hobbyist

Goldfish and Ornamental Carp: A comprehensive guide to the care of Both New and Popular Varieties. I986 By PenzesiTolg

Chinese Goldfish Published by Tetra I990

Goldfish Guide I99I By: Dr Yoshiichi Matsui and Dr Herbert R. Axelrod

Goldfish In Hong Kong I993 By: Man Shek-hay This book has wonderful pictures!?