Signs of Goldfish Illness
Diseases of many types may affect goldfish. Some are very infectious, and many are introduced to new fish. The resilience of your fish determines whether sickness spreads. A fish’s immune system is eventually compromised by poor living circumstances, which also weaken them and induce ongoing stress.
This is why I have emphasized how crucial it is to keep your dogs’ aquariums in good shape so often. Even if you take every precaution to keep your aquarium free of disease, you can still have to deal with health issues with your fish since even professionals get sick from time to time.
Keep in mind that healthy goldfish seldom get ill.
When they do, it often signifies that one or more of the characteristics associated with an unhealthy aquarium—bad lighting, inadequate food, abrupt temperature fluctuations, poor water quality, etc.—have stressed them out. Carefully maintaining your aquarium will save you from having to read this chapter again.
Recognizing and identifying the issue is the first step in treating any form of illness in your aquarium. An unhealthy fish may be identified by its look and behavior. Since you have been paying attention to your fish while you feed them, you ought to be able to see issues as soon as they arise.
illness-related behaviors that are telltale include:
Lack of appetite, hyperventilation of the gills (which makes the fish seem to be panting), gasping for oxygen close to the surface, erratic swimming, inactivity, rubbing the body or fins against tank items, and twitching of the fins.
Physical anomalies of the head, body, fins, gills, scales and anal vent are among the external signs. Understanding the symptoms of each illness is essential to correctly identify it in aquarium fish.
It is crucial to utilize over-the-counter medications rather than DIY cures when you are a newbie. To cure fish diseases, some specialists advise utilizing chemicals like potassium permanganate or malachite green.
Very precise dosages must be used while handling these substances. A fish may succumb to one of them in excess and die before contracting the illness. You need to exercise caution, especially with expensive goldfish.
With your neighborhood aquarium supply store, go through every treatment option for a sickness.
Do not be hesitant to phone your veterinarian and ask some questions if you are still unsatisfied. In the event that your veterinarian does not treat fish, they may often suggest someone who does. Finally, be sure to adhere to the instructions carefully while using the solution.
The Traditional Salt Bath
This is the freshwater fish world’s most well-known panacea. It is also known as gradual saltwater therapy and is the most common use for the hospital tank. Several fish ailments, including ich, fungus, velvet, and tail rot, have been documented to be cured with this very simple method. It is endorsed by several specialists.
To the hospital tank where your ill fish are kept, you simply add one teaspoon of regular table salt (not iodized) for every gallon of water. Repeat adding the same quantity of salt that evening, twice the following day, in the morning, and at night.
Add one extra teaspoon of salt each day if there is no improvement by the third or fourth day. Make partial water changes on days nine and ten, then assess the outcomes.
You must take immediate action and undertake an emergency cleaning if any of the infestations discussed in this chapter affect more than three or four fish.
This is the aquarium illness therapy that goes the farthest.
Put every fish in the hospital tank and start caring for them. The aquarium will then come into focus.
An urgent cleaning entails completely disassembling your aquarium, cleaning it, and then reassembling it. Empty the tank’s contents and discard the filter medium. Use bleach to clean the gravel, walls, and filter.
Of course, be sure to completely rinse everything. Rewash everything after that. Apply the same principle to the plastics manufacturing facilities.
Purchase fresh rocks and discard the old ones. Get rid of any living plants you may have as well. Replace any tubing, filter media, airstones, or other items you have in the tank. Additionally, fully rinse the heater after washing it with bleach. You are essentially starting over again since sickness took over your tank.
Goldfish may have hundreds of different diseases. Not all are typical in a house aquarium. The illnesses you are most likely to see in your aquarium are described in the broad overview that follows. Consult the sources in the appendix for a more thorough list of goldfish ailments and cures.
indigestion or constipation (not contagious)
A fish with indigestion or constipation is often extremely lethargic and sits on the bottom of the aquarium. It often expands or bulges in the abdomen.
An improper diet, foods that the fish don’t like, or overfeeding may all contribute to this. The food you are giving this fish has to be changed.
Put the fish in a hospital tank by themselves (see the box above). For three to five days, until the fish becomes active again, do not feed it. Feed it live or freeze-dried food for a week starting when it acts normally again. Return the fish to its regular aquarium after a week.
Make it a point to keep an eye on this fish since this issue often arises.
With Tosakins, Ryunkins, Veiltails, and Pearl-Scales in particular, this is a concern.
Dropsy or Kidney Bloat (may be contagious)
Because the fish’s belly bloats visibly and the scales protrude like a pinecone, this condition is also known as Aeromonas or pinecone sickness. Generally speaking, this illness causes the body to enlarge as a result of an accumulation of fluid in the tissues. It is believed to be brought on by either organ failure or poor water quality.
Although some fish have survived, most fish don’t survive more than a week after developing full-blown dropsy. Fish that survive dropsy likely to have recurrent episodes, similar to constipation and swim bladder illness.
It is advisable to remove the fish right away even if dropsy is not believed to be infectious. Urgent cleaning of the tank is necessary.
According to many specialists, dropsy cannot be treated, hence the fish should be taken right away and cruelly put to death. Others think one approach to cure dropsy is by eating medication.
Others recommend combining 250 mg of the antibiotic Furanance per gallon of water. Only an hour should be spent in the bath and no more than three times in a three-day period. It’s believed that goldfish have skin-based furnace absorption.
Try the traditional salt bath if you decide not to use Furnace.
A Pop-Eye (not contagious)
Exophthalmos, another name for this condition, causes the eyes to protrude abnormally from their sockets. Because some individuals believe they purchased the incorrect kind of goldfish, it may be challenging to diagnose.
No treatment exists. Common goldfish, Comets, Shubunkins, and similar fish often experience it. There is no need to take action as long as the fish seems to be in no pain and continues to have a normal life.
Swimming Bladder Illness (not contagious)
Because an afflicted fish cannot swim properly, this sickness is rather simple to identify. The majority of egg-shaped goldfish, including those with and without dorsal fins, experience this.
A goldfish with swim bladder illness will try to swim by swimming on its side, upside down, or even somersaulting. Swim bladder illness may be brought on by constipation, bruising from handling, fighting, or breeding, or bacterial infections linked to contaminated water.
Temperature swings, which most often happen when a fish is transferred, may sometimes cause this sickness.
Early detection and diagnosis allow for effective treatment using isolation and special diets. It is a fatal illness that has permanent effects if detected too late.
The top or bottom of the aquarium may sometimes include a sick fish. The female may be bearing eggs if it is a female.
If not, try a traditional salt bath. Swim bladder issues may resolve on their own. However, once your fish has experienced this unpleasant condition, similar to constipation or indigestion, it is more likely to occur again.
Watch for the fish to turn itself around. Your aquarium supply business owner will be able to lead you in the right direction if you decide to give your fish some medicated food. Additionally, as nutrition is one of the primary causes of this issue, give your fish something different in general.
Enhance water quality and provide a broad-spectrum antibiotic to the fish if you suspect a bacterial illness.
a tumor (usually not contagious)
Tumors sometimes resemble enormous blisters or warts because of their obvious lumps, bumps, or protrusions. They have been reported to reach sizes comparable to huge screw heads.
Only a veterinarian is qualified to remove them surgically.
Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and mold
Body fungus slime (highly contagious)
If the disease is not discovered in time, it might kill your fish in two days. As if the fish were losing its skin, the protective mucous covering becomes white and begins to peel off. Additionally, the fins are eventually covered. The body eventually becomes red from inflammation.
Make a call right away to the aquarium supply shop. There are commercial cures available, but they need to be used right away. A warm salt bath might serve as a stopgap measure by slowing the development of the fungus.
A saltwater bath won’t help the fish, however. There is a need for more potent therapies.
China Syndrome (highly contagious)
You must be completely confident that you have this illness since it is not very common. This is the most fatal and infectious illness on the list. For China illness, there is no recognized treatment.
The signs are relatively simple to identify. Similar to fin rot, the tail fin and other fins start to fray.
China sickness, on the other hand, starts at the base of the tail fin and spreads outward. Additionally, the diseased regions start to become black, and even the ventral region does the same.
Unfortunately, the other fish must be placed in the hospital tank while the diseased fish must be mercilessly killed. The remaining fish should get a ten-day gradual salt treatment.
You need to give the tank an urgent cleaning in the meanwhile.
To stop this condition from causing further harm, this has to be done right away.
The Fin Congestion (contagious)
The long-finned varieties of goldfish are particularly susceptible to this illness. The red spots that form on the trailing margins of the fins make it simple to recognize. On the fins’ surface, look for bright red patches that indicate hemorrhage.
But be cautious: It’s common for goldfish to have visible red blood veins in their tails, and this is okay. Blood vessels at the ends of the tails of sick goldfish swell up with inflammation. Like fin rot, this illness begins at the margin of the fins and moves toward the body.
Fin congestion is a sign of very low water quality in the tank.
Replace half of the water and add one tablespoon of salt for every gallon of water (do not pour the salt in at once; sprinkle it about the tank for a few minutes). In a few days, this therapy ought to solve the issue.
You will need to buy an antibiotic, preferably penicillin or tetracycline hydrochloride, if this therapy is unsuccessful. Because these chemicals may become very hazardous to fish, follow the instructions very carefully.
Rot in Fin or Tail (contagious)
When your fish struggle, the fins might be broken, which allows bacteria to get into the wound and infect it. Sometimes the fish just catch it. Additionally, bad water quality might cause it. The fins ultimately get torn and have missing pieces, making it simple to see. The whole fin will be eaten away as the illness progresses.
You may manage this issue with the aid of a variety of broad-spectrum drugs. Consult a dealer at a nearby aquarium supply shop. Because fin rot is often infectious, be careful to treat the aquarium water as well.
Additionally, take the necessary actions to address the infection’s underlying cause. Make sure the water quality is optimal and separate any fish that harm the fins.
Pox fish (probably not contagious)
Although Koi are more often affected than goldfish by this illness, it is still better to discuss it in this chapter. This viral infection results in milky white or pinkish skin.
the fish’s skin and fins to become covered in a waxy, gray layer. Typically, an infection will start, worsen, and then go away.
Fish pox does not seem to be infectious, but it is unclear what causes it or why it finally goes away.
Nevertheless, take the required safety measures and confine the diseased fish until the coating disappears. Typically, this will take seven to 10 days. Since it doesn’t cause the fish to die, this illness is more bothersome than hazardous. There isn’t a known cure, however.
A fungus (highly contagious)
Saprolegnia is the kind of fungus that infects goldfish the most often. Because it is whiter and simpler to discern, it is a fuzzy growth that varies from velvet. Damage to the skin’s mucous layer is the main contributor to this illness.
As a result, fungus spores may develop into the skin and germinate.
The protective mucous layer may be harmed by trauma, the environment, and parasites.
Methylene blue is applied by certain specialists to the damaged parts before the fish are treated in salt water for 10 days. Once again, there are often commercial remedies available. A fungicide should be applied to the whole tank.