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Goldfish Care, Breeds and Goldfish Diseases

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Goldfish come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colours and varieties imaginable. On the cuteness barometer they range from cute to super cute and are probably the most commonly owned type of fish in the world.

Although goldfish seem easy to care for and sturdy enough, for long term life they do require a good amount of care and attention.

Below is an in-dept account of most goldfish varieties and breeds and instructions on how to take optimum care of your fish.


Common Goldfish

The most basic and sturdiest goldfish with a short and stumpy tail fin.


Comet Goldfish

Can has different patterns of orange, red and white with either a short tail fin or fan tail.


Fantail Goldfish

Fantail Goldfish can represent a broad range of goldfish with a long fan-like tail. Generally the goldfish is similar to a common goldfish but just has a long fantail.



Shubunkins are a type of goldfish with very tiny or very few scales, they are almost scaleless. Shubunkins generally have about 4 colours on their body, greyish-blue, white, orange and black but there is also another form of shubunkin which generally has a white appearance with black eyes and pink/red gills.


Black Moor

Black Moors are a very pleasant and peaceful goldfish breed which are fully black with protruding eyes and a bulbous abdominal area.


Panda Moor

Panda Moors are exactly the same as Black Moors, but they contain a white as well as black colourations.


Oranda (Red Cap Oranda)

Orandas are a very friendly goldfish breed and are quite diverse in colour but all contain a bulbous 'brain-like' growth on the surface of their heads. 



Rhyukins are a very extravagant and royal-like goldfish breed which can have many colourations. Rhyukins all have a pronounced hump or hunch on their backs, below the dorsal fin.


Bubble Eye

Bubbles Eyes are one of the most lovable and cutest of the goldfish breeds, but are very delicate and need very good quality, high oxygenated and filtrated water. Make sure filter current is not on too high as they are weak swimmers.

Bubble Eyes have fluid filled sacks underneath both of their eyes plus they have no dorsal fin. They are normally orange in colour but can have other colours including white.


Pearl Scale

Pearl Scales are also a very cute goldfish breed with an extremely bulbous and round body. They have projecting scales that jut out slightly and are generally orange and white in colour, but variations are possible with some being shubunkin-like.



Lionheads always remind me of a very noble goldfish breed, with their slow paced and relaxed movements in the water. They have no dorsal fin at all and their colours vary from orange, orange and white to this red-cap variety shown in the picture.


Pom Pom Goldfish

Pom pom Goldfish are a very similar goldfish breed to Rhyukins, but their backs generally are not as arched and they also have 'pom pom'-like growth at each side of their nostrils. Their colour can vary.


Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eyes have to be one of the cutest and most loved of the goldfish breeds, with their innocent and delicate appearance and of course their bulbous cross eyes which appear to be staring upwards. They have no dorsal fin, just like lionhead goldfish and bubble eyes and vary in colour.


Butterfly Tail Goldfish

Butterfly Tail Goldfish have a very similar body shape to Black Moors and Panda Moors but they have a distinct butterfly-like tail fin and their colour varies.


Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope Eye Goldfish are another one of cute goldfish breeds with their protruding eyes and innocent appearance. They vary in colour and they body resembles that of the Rhyukin, without of course the arched back.

Aquarium/Water Care

  • Water Temperature - Goldfish are all coldwater fish and for optimum health they should be kept in non-heated water. Goldfish can go into a stake of shock if placed into tropical aquariums or if the temperature is too high.
  • Filter/Oxygenation - Aquarium water must be kept clean and clear at all times and must be well aerated/oxygenated. Using an aquarium filter that releases air bubbles will be killing two birds with one stone, but you can also introduce air bubbles and oxygen to the water via an ‘airstone and an air pump, or just an air pump on it’s own. Your filter can be cleaned once per week to remove detritus. It can be cleaned in some aquarium water removed from the aquarium to keep the filter’s bacteria/fungi in balance.

Note: Filter is not a necessity for all goldfish but greatly improves water quality and fish health, plus reduces need for water change.

  • Water Changing – The aquarium water does not need a total change that often, just about a 20% - 40% change once every second week. Tap water is completely fine for goldfish, but you can add a few drops of de- chlorination and de-heavy metal solutions into your tap water to remove these specific impurities. Always make sure water being introduced into your aquarium is at the same or very similar temperature to the remaining aquarium water. A good technique I use is to keep a small container of your aquarium water beside your sink and dip your fingers in that water while adjusting the tap water temperature to get it optimum.
  • Aquarium Water Level – Make sure to leave at least 2 inches of free air space on the surface of your aquarium water to allow oxygen to seep into your water. The more air space you leave the better. In aquariums with none or little airspace you generally see fish gasping for oxygen at the surface of the water.
  • Lighting and Aquarium Plants – Introducing some aquarium plants is great for removing excess nutrient salts and CO2 from the water, they also help oxygenate the water and are aesthetically pleasing. Aquarium Lighting significantly increases plant growth and therefore oxygen production. Elodea is an ideal, hardy, fast growing and attractive plant to have in your aquarium.

Feeding Goldfish

Feeding Goldfish is very simple and requires no hassle. Feed fish 2 to 3 times per day with enough food that can be consumed within 5 minutes in each feeding. If fish are being kept in a small fish bowl make sure to feed less as water can go bad very quickly (Fish bowls are not recommended).

Overfeeding will lead to bad water quality of a cloudy/milky colour and will lead in low oxygen content and possibly disease.

For a high protein treat you can feed your fish some live or frozen bloodworms which they will fight to devour.

Special Care for Fancy Goldfish

Caring for goldfish is generally an easy task for most normal goldfish, or example comets and shubunkins, but caring for fancy goldfish including Black Moore, Oranda and Ryunkin and especially Bubble Eye varieties more care will be needed.

  • Filtration and Oxygenation is basically a necessity when keeping Fancy Goldfish as they are much weaker than normal type goldfish and are more susceptible to disease and sickness and will get quite weak if adequate oxygen is not supplied.

Goldfish Diseases

Your Goldfish may develop one to a number of goldfish diseases throughout it’s life with the likelihood being very high. A number of aquarium water conditions can bring on these goldfish diseases and sometimes not just one at a time, one goldfish disease can accompany another goldfish disease at the same time or in a very close time space to each other.

Below is a list of goldfish diseases outlining the Symptoms, Causes and Treatments of these diseases.


What is Ick?

Ick, Ich or Whitespot is a very common Goldfish disease, where the culprit is a ciliated parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. It’s a very contagious disease.

These parasites are encased within a white cyst for protection and while here they feed of the fishes flesh. Mature adult parasites are released from these cysts and can infect other fish in the aquarium.


Symptoms of Ich

  • This goldfish disease causes Tiny White Spots to cover the fish’s body causing what we assume is an Ich as the fish purposely rubs against anything in the aquarium in a flicking fashion.

Causes of Ick

  • A sudden change in water temperature.
  • Introducing new fish or plants into the aquarium without being quarantined.
  • Stress in general, Ick can remain in a dormant state on the fish and reawaken while the fish is under stress for a given reason.
  • Bad water quality, lack of oxygen, lack of food etc… leading to stress and Ick.

Ick Treatment

  • Change your aquarium water and clean filter.
  • You can gradually add some salt to you aquarium over time, about 6-8 teaspoons per gallon of water, but 3-4 teaspoons can be used if you like in case of negative effect on goldfish.
  • Heating the aquarium water with aquarium heater for a few days to speed up the life cycle of the Ick cysts.
  • Many Ick medications can be found in pet stores and usually contain malachite green and formalin or even methylane blue.

List of Medicated Ick Treatments


What is Fin Rot?

Fin rot is another common goldfish disease caused by a bacterial and/or fungal infection of the fins.


Symptoms of Fin Rot

  • Fins or fin has a ragged appearance
  • Fins edges turn white
  • Redness at base of fins
  • Sections of fins have fallen off or are falling off

Causes of Fin Rot

  • Poor aquarium water quality
  • Stress
  • Infection post fin injury, injury from other fish due to nipping and biting (only keep compatible fish).
  • High pH and high levels of ammonia or nitrates in the water.

Fin Rot Treatment

  • Change your aquarium water and clean filter.
  • Much antibacterial medication can be found for this in a local pet store, such as Maracyn and Maracyn Plus.
  • Raising the water temperature can help speed up fin repair and this can be done alongside the use of the goldfish medication.
  • Addition of aquarium salt to the water also helps with fin rot.


What is Swim Bladder Disease?

Swim bladder disease is a non-contagious disease that affects the goldfish’s gas-filled organ called the swim bladder, which has a prominent purpose for buoyancy maintenance. It is primarily a goldfish disease as it is very prominent in fancy goldfish such as black moores, orandas, ryukins and so on compared to other fish.


Symptoms of Swim Bladder Disease

  • Buoyancy issues
  • Fish lies at the surface of the water on its side or upside down
  • Fish remains on bottom of aquarium
  • Fish tilts side to side in the water
  • Fish floats quickly to the surface of the water

Causes of Swim Bladder Disease

  • Constipation
  • Overfeeding
  • Birth defects or injury
  • Bacterial infection
  • Poor aquarium water quality
  • Stress

Swim Bladder Disease Treatment

  • If possibly constipated – Feed Peas as they can work well for swim bladder issues caused by constipation. It’s though that the peas simply destroy any blockage by inpaction.
  • Keep your fish on a diet for a few days, possibly 3 or 4 days.
  • Aspiration of the swim bladder by insertion on tiny needle.
  • Change your aquarium water and clean filter as a preventive method if possibly caused by bacteria.
  • Antibacterial medication can be found for this in a local pet store as swim bladder problems can be caused by bacterial infection.
  • Raising the water temperature.
  • Addition of aquarium salt to the water.

Swim Bladder Disease Reliever


What is Cloudy Eye?

Cloudy eye is a common goldfish eye problem often caused by bacterial infections of the eye. It is a common goldfish illness.


Symptoms of Cloudy Eye

  • Whitish appearance to your Goldfish’s eye, cloudy fish eye.
  • Fish’s eye(s) look like they have fish cataracts
  • A whitish film covering your goldfish’s eyes

Causes of Cloudy Eye

  • Poor water quality
  • Eye Damage
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Due to spread of velvet disease

Cloudy Eye Treatment

  • Change your aquarium water and clean filter.
  • Addition of aquarium salt to the water.
  • Increase the aquarium temperature.
  • Much cloudy eye antibiotic fish medication can be found in pet stores, such as tetracycline, chloromycetin and so on.

Cloudy Eye Treatments - Aquarium Salt


What is Velvet Disease?

Velvet disease or Slime Disease is a common goldfish disease caused by single celled dinoflagellate parasites. In the juvenile stage, these parasites enter the slime coating of the fish where they mature. They then move from goldfish to bottom of aquarium and form cysts which will harbour juvenile parasites. Velvet is highly contagious and can be a fatal goldfish disease. Caring for goldfish can be limited with this disease.


Symptoms of Velvet Disease

  • A velvet coloured slime covering part or all of the goldfishes body
  • Fish is lethargic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fins appear stuck together and clumped
  • Rapid breathing
  • Side to side movements

Causes of Velvet Disease

  • Poor water quality
  • Infection from new fish introduced into aquarium
  • Stress
  • Lack of proper nutrition

Velvet Disease Treatment

  • Change your aquarium water and clean filter.
  • Raise the water Temperature
  • Many medications are available from pet stores
  • Copper sulphate medications and Acriflavine are common treatments
  • Addition of aquarium salt to the aquarium


What is Fish Tuberculosis?

Fish tuberculosis is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is one of the very few goldfish illnesses that can be passed on to humans so it is extremely important to take precautions when caring for goldfish with this disease. Gloves must be worm and tank water must not be siphoned.


Symptoms of Fish TB

  • Not eating, lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Colour loss
  • Sometimes goldfish will have a bent spine
  • Weight loss and hollow abdomen
  • Have swollen eyes

Causes of Fish TB

  •    The pathogenic bacterial Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)

Fish Tuberculosis Treatment

  • Possibly the human anti-TB drug from the vet, but normally TB is not treatable in goldfish.
  • In the meantime keep water clean, stress low and supply enough food if fish will eat.

What are Fish Ulcers?

Fish ulcers are breaks in the goldfish’s skin which extend through all the skin layers and fail to heal. Fish Ulcers are progressive and are made worse by opportunistic ulcer bacteria. These ulcer bacteria are what make the ulcer spread and fail to heal. Caring for goldfish with this goldfish illness is not easy and the ulcer bacteria can be difficult to eliminate.


Symptoms of Ulcers

Symptoms of ulcers are quite easy to spot and may include:

  • A central area of tissue erosion, shallow or deep
  • White coloured necrotic tissue surrounding the ulcer
  • Red coloured Inflammation surrounding the ulcer extending to healthy tissue

Causes of Ulcers

  • Initial damage to fish’s skin by parasite, collision, high levels of chemicals etc… followed by infection by ulcer bacteria.
  • Bad water quality
  • Infestation by parasites
  • Pointed and sharp obstacles in the aquarium

Fish Ulcer Treatment

  • Topical ulcer antibiotic treatments available in pet stores. Topical treatments are the best.
  • Antibiotic injections
  • Medicated food
  • Thorough aquarium cleanse and water change
  • Removal of sharp or pointed obstacles from aquarium.


What is Goldfish Fungus?

Fish fungus is a common goldfish disease and is usually a secondary infection to a primary injury or existing fish ulcer. Caring for goldfish with fish fungus can prove to be difficult as the fish fungus is resilient and fast growing.

Fish fungus is caused by the saprolegnia and achlya organisms and is usually associated with bad water quality.


Symptoms of Fish Fungus

  • A white cotton wool like growth protruding from the fish’s body, probably from an existing wound or infection.
  •  Possible mucus around this fungus growth and possible reddish tint in the centre of the fish fungus.

Causes of Fish Fungus

  • Secondary infection to existing wound or infection
  • Bad water quality
  • Lack of nutrition
  • Stress
  • Rough handling
  • Very Low aquarium or pond temperatures

Fish Fungus Treatment

  • Keep water quality very high, clean filter and change water
  • Use one of many fish fungus treatments available at pet store, eg organic dyes, such as malachite green
  • Tea tree Oil
  • Addition of aquarium salt


What are fish lice?

Fish lice also called Branchiura orcarp lice or fish lice are a type of fish parasite and belong to the crustacean family.

Fish lice have a flattened, oval a slightly transparent body with tiny visible compound eyes and a fish louse is armed with a spiny proboscis to suck bodily fluids and suckers. They can swim from fish to fish to feed and can reproduce very quickly and can weaken your fish quickly causing goldfish illness.


Symptoms of Fish Lice

  • Visible Oval shaped fish parasite a few millimeters in diameter
  • Slightly transparent bump on fish’s body
  • Free moving flat parasite swimming through aquarium
  • Red spots or inflammation on fish’s surface

Causes of Fish Lice

  • Introduction into aquarium via plants or newly introduced fish
  • Introduction into pond via aquatic birds and also plants, new fish and amphibians

Treatment of Fish Lice

  • Physical removal of fish lice from fish using a needle
  • A thorough aquarium cleanse including removal of any vegetation
  • Treatment with anti parasite or anti crustacean medication available from pet store

African Dwarf Frog Care – Housing and Feeding Care Guide


Habiba on December 19, 2017:

Hi ,

I have two gold fish one fan tail and the other oranda unfortanlly the oranda died today after two days of not eating and I have triad a lot to feed her but it always refus I don't know why she died and I m afraid that she might have a disease the other fish may catch it .What shall I do ?

sam on July 27, 2016:

bought 20 plain golfish. dying everyday. no ick. 50 gallon established tank. not overfed. temp 76-78. do not know what is wrong. down to 11.

Bethany on October 03, 2015:

We got 4 goldfish at a fair two weeks ago. Within one week 3 showed signs of swim bladder problems and died within a few hours. The last one has started turning black on the fins and abdomen (not gills though) also it sucks on the rocks to eat and won't come up for feeding time with my mollies. What do I do?

Rohit Rajan from Mumbai on February 21, 2015:

just saw your hub,nice and detail info,watch my first video of Baby goldfish..

Tina Almond4 on March 15, 2014:

I am a teen and I am caring for my small block moor named gale and he is a happy little fish. One of gales fins towards his abdominal section is flat and spiky. It's not fish rot because it isn't torn. What is it? Can you help me out?

Liz on February 15, 2014:

I meant to say that Gladys has been not the same since blackie chan died. She's been a but scitterish and like scared she's going to be next it simething. I wonder if she's sick and that is why little Chico is nibbling at her. But Molly the fancy isn't nibbling her. I can't just have Chico in there nibbling Gladys to death but I also feel mean putting Chico in the small tank by himself.

Liz on February 15, 2014:

Hi there please help me. My Blackmore died after 6 healthy years and I got a baby just a few days ago. He's very active and a typical jovial black moor but he is nipping my big 4-5 year old white goldfish (sorry not sure what type he is). Anyway I have noticed all around his tail and fins are now orange/red colour maybe bleeding? I took blackmoornout and out in small tank for the night cause it's really upsetting me. Big white (Gladys) is still swimming around and eating but I notice she's a but darty like hyper but the main concern is the nibbles and coloration. What should I do? I can't leave young Chico in the bowl tank for more than overnight.

McKathrynxx on July 21, 2013:

Hey, I tried everything and he died, I guess I just couldn't help him, still don't know how my Blackmore died, he just changed colour and died? I noticed he was never an active swimmer since I bought him but I thaught that could have been normal with blackmores? I don't know how I feel about biying more fish, I think I'll just stick to fighting fish!

Iontach (author) on July 17, 2013:

Hi McKathrynxx, really sorry to hear that. No it's definitely not because your black moor died, it sounds like he was in an accident? He must have got caught in the filter if he only has scales peeling off on one side. Sometimes when goldfish and other carp get EXTREMELY stressed their scales and eyes can jut outwards, but this doesn't sound like this.

Is there any other symptoms like redness?

Sorry I cant be too much help in this case

McKathrynxx on July 16, 2013:


Realy upset, my fantail goldie has got peeling scales on one side and Is breathing heavy, bad balance, not eating well and not active at all, I think it could be stress because my black more just past but she just keeps swimming near the pump and looks like she is getting stuck, maybe the pump hurt her? I turned off the pump, and I've given her peas to try, cleaned the tank and filter and put salt in the tank but I'm worried for my little buddy :( any ideas?

Iontach (author) on July 10, 2013:

Hi Mohammed,

I don't think it's lice. If your fish had lice then you'd probably see the lice, often they are visible. The red spot is due to bleeding either from an accident your fish had or maybe an infection. If it has disappeared then everything is fine and you don't need to worry.

Sometimes fish get this bleeding when the water quality is bad, make sure the water is super clean. It shouldn't effect your other fish. Good luck!

mohammed on July 10, 2013:


I do have a tank with 18 gallon of water and i brought a oranda gold fish and on her fins red spot was there after some time it disappeared. Was this red spot was due to fish lice and if yes how to cure it and do it will affect other fish in my tank and does water change will help to remove fish lice if there in my tank.

Emma on June 15, 2013:

It's dark purple/ black. Ok thank you ill keep an eye on him and see what it does :)

Iontach (author) on June 14, 2013:

Hi again Emma,

The Lionhead's bruse, is it black/dark or red? Dark colourations on goldfish are normally just a sign that your gold fish's colourations haven't developed fully. Young goldfish are a grey/black colour and this turns orange as they mature. The colouration will probably disappear over the next while if it's related to his maturity. Let me know anyways.

Emma on June 14, 2013:


The Blackmore may have one little spot but I can't be 100% sure! The lionhead did get sick but had responded to treatment :) the nipping does now seem to have stopped and they are getting on!

The lionhead may have a small bruise or something though ... He has a dark mark on his belly on one side, is this likely or is it a problem?

Thanks :)

Iontach (author) on June 07, 2013:

Hi Emma,

Do you think your black moore may be trying top mate with the lionhead? If you look closely at your black moore's gills, head or fins are there any white dots? If so then he may just be trying to mate with the lionhead. Tiny white dots on males are a sign of maturity.

If they are not trying to mate then maybe your lionhead is sick? Fish can be bullies, but not usually cold water fish. If your lionhead keeps his fins up and remains eating and acting normal then all is fine.

Please look for the white dots first on your black moore.

Emma on June 07, 2013:


My Blackmoore keeps chasing and biting my lionhead.

The lionhead was added after the Blackmoore, but all seemed fine til a few days ago, now the Blackmoore is relentless and in worried the Lionhead will die :(

Why can I do?

linda on June 05, 2013:

thanks again. fins and use of are fine and he has a great apetite (i know not to over feed and pre soak for sake of swimbladder). i don't think stress is too much of a factor with him he seems quite settled. im a great believer in letting water stand to de-chlorinate so its always at same temp for doing water changes. i think i may have just paniced a wee bit as he is such a cracker but everything else about him points to a healthy fish, just putting the two words white and spots together kina strikes that little flame of doubt. thank you for your help and advice you have put my mind at rest and i can go back to enjoying him again :)

Iontach (author) on June 05, 2013:

Hi linda,

It doesn't sound like anything bad, more than likely just means that he's of age. Once his fins are up and he's eating then all is fine. Just in case you might think it's white spot (which I don't think it is) make sure that he doesn't get stressed out too much and also when changing the water of the tank ensure that the temperature of the water doesn't fluctuate too much as these both aggravate white spot.


linda on June 05, 2013:

thank you for your reply. ive had a look at the link but the spots on my fish look bigger than those and they are higher up, round the top of the eye and forehead, there is about four on each side, the rest of his body & fins are perfectly clear. he is only in a twelve gallon tank just now, im waiting for my bigger tank, so don't want to push my luck overstocking.

Iontach (author) on June 05, 2013:

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the nice words :) White spots either mean he has the disease 'white spot' or in fact he is just a male fish in his prime and is ready for mating.

When a male fish reaches 'puberty' he develops these white 'nodules' on his head but also on his gills and on this rim of his side fins. They are just in these locations, not on the rest of his body. If you see these spots over the rest of his body then he has the disease 'white spot'. Try to check out the following link I'm posting to see what I'm talking about, this is a male fish who is ready to mate:

With goldfish and lots of other cold water fish varieties you'll see these white nodules, it's a very good sign - well of course if they're not the bad kind of white spots! It's probably just because he's a healthy male.

You should get a mature female ranchu or other fancy fish to put in the tank with him, he'll begin to swim after her very quickly. My male goldfish all have the white nodules at the moment and they have gone crazy.

linda on June 05, 2013:

nice site, very informative. but i have a query that perhaps hasn't been covered. i recently bought a black and orange ranchu. when i got him he had a few white spots on his head the guy in the shop said it was just because he was going to take a growth spurt. could this be true? my main worry is white spot/ich. ive had him for a week now & have watched him cloesly. the white bits don't look as promenent but i don't have lights on my tank as it is a temp set up so that may be the reason for that. his swimming is fine, nice movement & bouyancy, no eratic or sluggishness and doesn't appear to be struggling, he uses the whole tank. his fins look perfect & uses them well, not kept close to the body. his colours are vibrant and well defined. i don't want to treat him if he does not need it as that could be harmful to a healthy fish. any advice would be gratefully received, thank you.

Iontach (author) on June 03, 2013:

Hi again,

Oh that's great news! Fish are prone to sickness after stressful events so I'd do a large water change and add salt. It's great that you've added it already. His scratches should be fine soon once the water is kept clean and oxygenated.


Mandamurray1 on June 03, 2013:

He survived the night and is doing just fine. I kept him in his tank and kept him in a little fish net close to the top so he could rest. i also added some aquarium salt.All of his black is back and he is swimming with all his other fish friends. He still has the two silver scratches on his side. Is there anything I could do for it?

Iontach (author) on June 02, 2013:

Hi Manda, so sorry to hear this!

When the colouration goes it's serious, he's under s a lot of stress. If you have and stresszyme or any anti stress solution for the water use that plus keep the water extra oxygenated! Don't have him in an aquarium with fast moving or large fish and make sure there is no major currents in the water. The only thing you can do is to minimise the stress and maximise the oxygen content, there is less oxygen at the bottom of the aquarium. His colour should return soon if he's not too bad!

Hope everything works out and he's okay, let me know.

Mandamurray1 on June 02, 2013:

HELP one of my baby black moor goldfish got sucked up my filter tube. I managed to save him and get him out but is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable and keep him from dying? His fins are ok except the his left it has a red sort of ring around it like it was bleeding but he uses it fine. And he swims fine but ALOT of his coloration is gone in his fins and body and he has two silver scratches on one side and a white dot on his eyeball. He also swims near the bottom ):

Kevin Peter from Global Citizen on May 20, 2013:

A very useful hub on gold fish. You have included every minute details of looking after gold fish in the best manner. Great and informative hub!

Chris from England on May 20, 2013:

What a comprehensive hub, we had a goldfish that had a bad 'ich' problem, managed to get on top of it using some of the 'over the counter' chemical drops to the water.

Iontach (author) on May 20, 2013:

Oh that's great news! Ye I knew they'd be fine. The bubbles will provide lots of oxygen for your fish which is essential for fancy fish like Black Moors so that's good. If your tank is large enough and you have a large enough air space between the surface of the water and the hood/lid then you should be able to turn off the pump at night. Just make sure that the fish are not gulping for air at the surface at any time and then they'll be totally fine! Rule of thumb - keep the water as clean and oxygenated as possible.


Mandamurray1 on May 19, 2013:

My fish survived the night lol. They now have a filter and a pump that blows bubbles. However, I was wondering if they absolutely need the bubbles all the time? My aquarium is in my room, and the pump I got is quite loud. I am wondering if it would be ok to turn the bubbles off at night so I can sleep? I have two baby black moor goldfish and a larger telescope goldfish, if that makes a difference.

Iontach (author) on May 19, 2013:

Hi Mandamurray,

Of course they will survive. If you see them at the surface of the water gulping for air then thats not a good sign but if they are happily swimming around them you're fine! Let me know how they get on. They should be fine, don't worry.

Mandamurray1 on May 19, 2013:

So today I got two black Moor goldfish and I bought a filter, but I bought a too small of filter.. Tomorrow I am getting the right kind. Will they survive the night without the filter?!? I don't want to kill them. PLEASE HELP

The Logician from then to now on on December 25, 2012:

You have created a super site for goldfish information! Here is one factoid you might wish to include although it is not really pertinent to keeping Goldfish it is necessary to know when using goldfish as food for predatory fish, reptiles (snakes or turtles) or amphibians.

Goldfish (& Rosie Reds and most cyprinidae) contain a very high level of thiaminase. Thiaminase destroys Thiamine (Vitamin B1).Thiamine deficiency can lead to a myriad of problems including neurodegeneration, wasting and death. Tissue distribution in many living animals is dependent on Thiamine levels. Once Thiaminase is ingested, it has very long lasting effects and does not purge itself from the body. Lack of Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is the primary reason why fish would not be able to properly produce fleshy tissue.

Simply put, 'Hole in the Head' and 'Lateral Line Erosion' (diseases of predatory fish) are caused from a nutrient deficiency. THIAMINASE is a very important enzyme that anyone with PREDATORY FISH (fish that will eat gold fish) should be aware of.

Casacoco on June 17, 2012:

Hi guys, maybe the creator of this site is on holidays as he hasn't replied to some of you.?

I would suggest to all that you visit your local aquarium shop and ask their advice, maybe even take a photo of your fish on your mobile camera to show them the problem. Your local shop will have all the medicines/treatment that you need and should be able to give you advice on everything, even which fish are compatible with each other. If they can't...they shouldn't be selling fish!!!

Most the troubles I've read above are treatable with shop purchased medicines, but you need to act quick so other fish do not get infected and always keep your water and filters clean. Don't forget to check the water quality when changing water and also add some aquarium salt which is an anti-bacterial agent.

I personally wouldn't have more than 4-5 goldfish in a 10 gal tank, bearing in mind that they will grow in size.

Hope this helps some of you.

helen on June 16, 2012:

somethings wrong with my goldfish. i saw some transparent whitish slime on one side of my goldfish. i don't know what it is. when he swim through the air bubbles, the bubbles was attached to the "slime". the "slime" is not exactly white because you cannot notice it if you are just looking at the fish. but you will notice it once you stared at the fish for a long time.

please help!!

hansard123 on June 13, 2012:

hey, i have goldfishes with plecos and a dragon fin in one tank. are dragonfins compatiblewith goldfishes?

anthony on June 10, 2012:

does anyone know how many common goldfish should be put in a 10 gal. tank???

crystal on June 10, 2012:

if one goldfish had an ulcer can the other get sick from it they appear to b fine i have sepparated him from the others

kiah sounds like ur fish has skin parasite get u some quick cure fish meds they sell it at walmart it helped my fish way b4 this other one got sick

kiah on June 05, 2012:

Hey can anyone help me with my black maroon he has a big round tummy and has white slime on him. what can i do ive had

him for a while can anyone help me?

Jessica on May 21, 2012:

Something is wrong with my goldfish. There are 4 of them in a 20 gallon tank and they are a couple of years old. There scales look like there peeling off and it looks like they have tail and fin rot but I have no Idea wat to do. My fish are very pale and are dwimming very weird.

Iontach (author) on May 19, 2012:


Since you've caught it early, this cloudy eye may just go away by itself. Once you add some salt and keep the water really clean and oxygenated. You don't really have to quarantine him, you could just put the medicine in with the other fish there. There's no harm in treating you fish with the medicine, so you could definitely try that.

OLUbee on May 18, 2012:

Hiya, nice info there. I noticed yesterday that my Black Moor has this cloudy eye thing. I read about it online and found both +ve and -ve comments about Melafix. What can I do? Should I quarantine him and do frequent water changes or buy some medicine to treat him?

Casacoco on May 15, 2012:

Hi Rachel, I don't know what PH kit you are using but the one I use just says to wait 3 minutes only! I put 5ml of tank water in the tube, add 4 drops of the ph liquid, wait 3 minutes and then check the colour of the water against the colour chart that comes with the kit. I can't imagine you need to wait any longer than that?

Iontach (author) on May 15, 2012:

Yes it is probably to late for him now, pity.

If you want you could treat the whole aquarium just to be sure the other fish don't get it, but once you keep the water perfect then it should be no problem.

Does it not say on the back on the pH kit how long you should wait? I'd just wait a minute and observe the colour change

Rachel on May 15, 2012:

I think it might be too late as he isn't swimming at all just floating, but i can still see his gills moving & he isn't eating. Should i still treat him anyway as i have another goldfish in the same tank & i don't know if he will get the same disease. He looks fine at the moment and when you test the water for the ph level how soon do you wait for the colour to change because if you leave the water in the tube for a couple of hours i notice it changes colour from when i took it.

Iontach (author) on May 14, 2012:

Hey Rachel,

Well he could have a swim bladder infection but by the sounds of it he has slime disease and/or velvet disease. You can get treatments for that in the petshop. It's very common when the water quality isn't great. Lots of fancy goldfish need uber clean water with a good filtration system.

If is slime is very noticeable then it may be too late, but definitely try the anti smile/velvet medication.

Best of luck

Rachel on May 14, 2012:

Hi, we bought two goldfish 2 weeks ago, 1 black moor & 1 normal goldfish & our black moor looks like he might have swim bladder disease as he has been floating to the top of the tank all the time & staying in the corner. Today he is looking worse like lying on his side alot & has like a grey/whitish coat or something. i've fed him peas & put rock salt in every few days but he doesn't seem to be getting better. Any advice is much appreciated. thanks.

Iontach (author) on May 03, 2012:

Well once he's eating! That's the main thing, it's when they don't eat or even don't try to eat that you should worry. Maybe you could buy a really general kind of medication that treats for a few diseases, maybe that would help. Sorry I can't be more help, fancy goldfish unfortunately always get sick.

Shanaaya on May 03, 2012:

no nothing doubtful about appearance.he's eating too normally.same as before...its as if resting on the gravels...:( moving veryy slowly...

i doubted its swim not sure... :(


Iontach (author) on May 03, 2012:

Hi Shanaaya,

Sorry to hear about the black moore! It sounds like some sort of infection, could be of the swim bladder too if he's on the bottom. What is his appearance like? Any fungus, discolouration, does he have a slight orange tint?

Shanaaya Taneez from Mauritius on May 02, 2012:

hi, i would again say nice hub...

i have a problem.. i have got some black moores and one of them is remaining at the bottom of the aquarium.. i changed the water recently more precisely 2 days ago. the other goldfishes (fantails and black moores) are ok..what is the problem with the one???? :( please help what can i do??? :)


Casacoco on May 02, 2012:

Yes, the others are fine now, back to their active selves and even the white goldfish seems to be looking better now, the red colouration is slowing disappearing.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.

@KC... lol @ Cupcake! :)

Iontach (author) on May 01, 2012:

Casacoco, sorry to hear that bad news! :( At least the others are ok and seem to be getting better. So that's some good news.

KC, No problem for the advice, hoped it helped! Try and direct some food towards "Cupcake" hopefully he'll eat something. Ye ye I say you named him "Cupcake", lol, blaming the kids are we? haha

Best Wishes,


KC on April 30, 2012:

He looks healthy except for the cloudy eye. I treated the water with MelaFix today, (in addition to the aquarium salt last night) so I think I've done whatever I can. He's been hungry, but struggling to find food. He found a few bits on the bottom, so I suspect he's feeling ok since he's hungry, just having vision issues.

Very glad to have found your site! Thanks for the advice and reassurance! I'll keep my fingers crossed, and keep you posted as "Cupcake" heals (my little kids named him ;)

Thanks very much!

Casacoco on April 30, 2012:

Great thanks for that advice. Although I am sad to report that one of my Blackamoors died late this morning. He seemed to be doing well first thing, but then around lunchtime I walked past the tank and noticed he was tilting and when I looked closely, he was dead :(

The others are doing good though, they've been swimming about all day, as they used to.

Iontach (author) on April 30, 2012:

Hello again,

I normally do a full dose when I do a total water change, like it just depends on how much water you've taken out. If you do a 70% water change then use 70% of the amount of salt you'd use for a 100% water change...:)

Casacoco on April 30, 2012:

I hope so too!

One final question, should I use a dose of Aquarium salt every time I do a water change?

Iontach (author) on April 30, 2012:

That's great news Casacoco! Lets hope they'll be fully recovered soon.

Hi KC,

Yes cloudy eye is treatable! Aquarium salt and cloudy eye or anti slime and velvet meds from the shop should do fine. Sometimes it can take a few days for the cloudy eye to go. Does he have slime on his body or any opaque discolouration?

It's ok that you did a whole water change, my fish never mind this at all...I do it every now and then.

p.s. Yes if I was you I'd definitely get a larger tank.

Casacoco on April 30, 2012:

Hi again,

I'm pleased to report that all the fish seem to have perked up this morning. They are swimming about and I gave them a little food too which they ate. So fingers crossed they are on their way back to normal.

I think one of my Blackamoors also has a touch of cloudy eye on one of them, but I do have some treatment for that so will add a dose and hopefully that will clear up.

Thanks so much for the advice, most appreciated.

KC on April 29, 2012:

I just noticed my fantail (oranda?) has cloudy eye. I added aquarium salt as directed and plan to go to the store tomorrow to see if he needs meds. How long does it take for the salt to help? I have a 10 gallon tank... Only 2 days new. Had the levels checked yesterday (all is well, perfect in fact) because I made the mistake of doing an all water change with the new tank. I have 2 goldfish and a tiny catfish. I've had all the fish for 2+ years. (I know I need a larger tank, too) is cloudy eye treatable? He's not eating because he can't see :( so I dropped a vaca feeder on the bottom hoping he'll find it. Oh, and I added a live plant (at the suggestion of the person in the aquarium department) yesterday.

Iontach (author) on April 29, 2012:

Hi again,

Ah that's a pity they don't have the methylene blue, they don't have it in many places any more. I think it may be because it's too good! lol

Honestly I wouldn't know how many times you should treat your fish, if it doesn't say on the bottle then maybe it's a once off treatment? Sure maybe in a couple of days you could do the treatment again, I don't think a high concentration of antibiotics would be any harm.

All you have to do now is keep the water pumped full of oxygen and keep the water as clean as possible. Try and get them to eat as well! If they start putting their dorsal fin up then you'll know they are feeling better.

Sorry I can't be any more help.

Best of luck.

Casacoco on April 29, 2012:

Hi again and thanks for your response.

I couldn't get any Methylene Blue so the aquarium shop gave me another type of antibiotic medicine. Again this one says one cap full per 6 gallons so I gave it just under 2 cap fulls. I also got the aquarium salt.

I removed the plants totally as there wasn't much left on them anyway.

How often should I treat the water with these items as the packaging doesn't actually say?

I have put a new filter sponge in the system and the water also has an aerated device so there should be plenty of oxygen going through it.

The white goldfish is slightly more active and is moving about although he looks a bit sorry for himself. The Blackamoors move around the bottom of the tank occasionally and come up for air when they want, but that's about it so far. How long might it take for them to bounce back do you think?

Thanks for all your advice.

Iontach (author) on April 29, 2012:

Hi there,

Well it depends on what medication you're using, if it's methylene blue then I'd use a strong dose in the tank (as it says on the label) and I'd separate the plants and use a very weak does on them, methylene blue stains and can kill plants.

If your using another type of medication then it should be ok to leave the plants in. Suppose just see what it says on the label.

Ye your water change sounds good, 70% seems like a nice amount. With the anti chlorine, id rather use too little than too much, I have often not used it for long periods of time and have had no issues at all.

Since your fish are at the bottom and week, make sure your water is well oxygenated, I'm sure you already have this sorted anyways.

Best of luck!

Casacoco on April 28, 2012:

Hi, thanks for your reply.

I will try the salt and medication as you suggest. Should I remove the plants and change the water or will the antibiotic medicine sort the problem out totally?

I did do another change of water yesterday (70%) as I wondered if perhaps I might have added too much anti-chlorine but don't think I did. My tank is approx 10 gallons in size and the bottle says to add 1 cap full per 8 gallons.

Will keep you posted.


Iontach (author) on April 28, 2012:

Hi Casacoco,

Sorry to hear about the problems with your fish! Well since your fish have such a good track record and all this happen when the new plants were introduced, it seems that the plants are the issue!

Did you quarantine the plants for a day or two before you put them into the tank? If not, then you might have introduced a pathogen into your aquarium.

Since your fish are at the bottom a lot, then it could be due to their swim bladder, possibly a bacterial infection.

Your catfish would have a completely different swim bladder in comparison to your goldfish. Theirs is much smaller and less likely to become infected.

Bacterial infections as well as parasites can cause bleeding under the scales also.

I'd all some aquarium salt and some fish antibiotic medication.

Methylene Blue is a brilliant medication, if you can find it, and its good for killing bacteria, parasites and fungi. So try add something like that to your aquarium. Methylene Blue can stain and kill any vegetation in your aquarium, but if you dilute it you can use it as a quarantine for your plants before you put them in.

Best of luck!

Casacoco on April 28, 2012:

Hi, wonder if someone can give me some advice? I have a large white fantail goldfish and 2 blackamoors (and a catfish)and I've had them for about 3+ years. A few days back I purchased a couple of fresh aquarium plants and put them in the tank. Next morning of course, all plants were destroyed and floating about at the top of the tank :) One of the plants had been eaten which is normal. I also carried out a water change as it was time and did nothing different to my usual routine including adding the anti-cholorine solution as I've always done. However, for the past 2 days, all 3 goldfish have been sitting on the bottom of the tank and only moving or coming up for air when they want to. They are usually pretty active. I am not sure if they have swimbladder or if they have just over eaten which would be my fault as I still gave them their daily food, even though they were eating the plants (never gave it a thought). Also, my white fantail has started showing signs of red scales towards the rear sides, almost looks like a burst blood vessel type of thing. I tested the water for it's PH and it was fine so I'm not sure what to do now...any suggestions? I have not fed them today and will keep them off the fish food for 3 days or so and see how they go. My catfish is absolutely fine so it can't be the water or a bacterial problem surely as it would affect the catfish too??

andi wadsworth on April 25, 2012:

thank you for your cite. your cite was more hlp than the emergency hotline. I changed my waterand added START RIGHT CONDITIONER by JUNGLE. Their swimming better now.

Iontach (author) on April 24, 2012:

No problem Keon, any time!

keon on April 23, 2012:

thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it.

Iontach (author) on April 23, 2012:


No I don't think he has a tumour. Ye peas sometimes work but not always. Most of the time this happens when the water quality is bad. Bacteria or parasites in the bad water can cause this. Even if you have the filter running 24/7 this doesn't fully clean the water as lots of toxins build up. Once per week you have to do a large water change, you probably do this anyway.

Normally any distention will go away once you keep the water extremely clean. Unfortunately fancy goldfish get problems like this very often as they are essentially mutants and are very inbred.

keon on April 22, 2012:

hey, i have an another question. the same lionhead have distention on right side and it has been like this for a long time. i tried feeding him peas to see if it was constipation but it stayed the same. Do you think its a tumor inside the belly?

Iontach (author) on April 22, 2012:

Hey there,

Ye what you're doing is right. Most of the time the fins grow back yes, but they don't always look as perfect as they did before. I have had goldfish though and their fins grew back perfectly. It can take quite a while for them to grow back.

Best of luck!

keon on April 22, 2012:

no i do not have him in the tropical tank. I have 2 more goldfish with him in 15 gallon tank. i did water change today and added some melafix and salts just in case it was finrot. Will the fins grow back?

Iontach (author) on April 21, 2012:

Hi Keon, sorry to hear about your lionhead.

Well fungus/fin rot normally causes that. Did your lionhead ever get injured, did it ever get caught in the filter or do you have any sharp objects in your aquarium? Some fish bite other fish's fins but they are normally tropical fish. Do you have your lionhead in a tropical aquarium? sorry about all the questions.

p.s. If it is fin rot then cleaning the water regularly and adding some aquarium salt really helps.

keon on April 21, 2012:

my lionhead goldfish has frayed fins and no ventrical or pelvic fin. I do not think it is a fin rot because it survived more than a 6months. Do you think other goldfish are bullying him?

Iontach (author) on April 04, 2012:

Hi Jo,

Why did you change the water immediately after conditioning it? Goldfish are pretty hardy and strong so they should be fine if you put them directly in the new tank just after conditioning. Keep an eye on your goldfish for a few hours after you put them in, if they keep their dorsal fin up then they are more than likely ok.

Good luck

jo on April 03, 2012:

Is it wrong to change water immeddiately after putting in conditioning? For goldfish. Can goldfish die from new tank with water conditioning put in just before

Iontach (author) on January 05, 2012:

Hi Shanaaya, thanks for your comment.

I hope changing the water helps as well, it normally does. A lot of the time the water looks perfectly clean but it's not. I'd change the water every few days and even add a little aquarium salt (or table salt) into the aquarium to help.

Best of luck

Shanaaya Taneez from Mauritius on January 04, 2012:

great hub..... i desperately needed accurate information about goldfish.. i have got 5 of them (all fan tails) and one had fin rot.. i have changed the water..i hope it helps.. :/

Jen S on October 06, 2011:

very informative! Thank you

Iontach (author) on July 24, 2011:

Hay Midnightbliss! Thanks for the comment.

Do you really think they are sensitive? Well if you're talking about the fancy goldfish I'd certainly agree, but the normal goldfish are very hardy as they are basically just normal carp with a golden colouration.



Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on July 19, 2011:

i have been a goldfish lover since i was a kid, bu ti only have a few of them because they are more sensitive compared to other fish breeds.

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