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Gold fish has lost lots of scales - any advice?

(25 Posts)
LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 09:09:08

DS2's goldfish has lost all the scales ont his tail end. I've googled, but found nothing.

He's otherwise happy. (The goldfish, not DS2)

RubberDuck Sat 25-Jul-09 09:31:29

Have you got any other fish in the tank?

Obvious causes are an injury of some kind, either from rough handling, something in the tank he's injuring himself on or a tank mate like a pleco feeding on the slime coat of the fish.

First port of call is to remove whatever is injuring the fish. Next is to make sure the water quality is exceptionally clean to prevent infection taking hold (I would do daily water changes of around 33% of the water for a few days/a week remembering to use water treatment that removes chlorine and chloramines). Possible use something like stress coat which helps the fish repair its slime coat and using aquarium salt (read instructions on the packet - be wary if you have other species in there) to avoid any infection taking hold. Melafix is another alternative, again read dosing instructions carefully and remove any carbon in your filter.

RubberDuck Sat 25-Jul-09 09:33:43

The other option is it could be a parasitic disease (Myxosporidiosis) - in which case again, regular water changes are essential until all the parasites are gone - but to be honest, I think you'd see other symptoms, like the fish spending a lot of time at the surface "gasping" as it effects their gills.

LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 12:12:49

Thanks, RubberDuck there - off to change some water. Ds was quite insitant we take the fish to the vets - I can now tell him I've had on on-line consultation. grin

LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 13:30:18

I've just realised that the whole of it's top fin has gone! shock

Help!

RubberDuck Sat 25-Jul-09 18:31:39

I really need to know about other tank mates / anything that could be injuring it to advise further. Have you got a water test kit? If so can you post values for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 18:52:18

The fish shop man is going to test the water - but I can't get back there untill tommorow.

there are only two gold fish in the tank - the other one seems to be thriving, and seems to have grown since we got them in April (although that could be my imagination)

I noticed a few scales were missing just after we brought him him, but presumed he would be fine.

The poorly one also seems to be a bit dark on each side - not sure if this is natural pigment - or something else.

Three are some plasic "weeds" in the tank - put the area seems quite specific so I don't think it's due to injury.

LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 20:27:48

Bumping for poor fishy

RubberDuck Sat 25-Jul-09 21:56:24

Sorry my only current Internet access is an iPhone on 2G so I'm a bit slow responding.

There is another option if it's a very specific area. Do some of the scales around the area look as if they are sticking up like a pinecone? I'm wondering if it's either some sort of growth or dropsy

Poor fishy

Can I ask what size the tank is and if the other goldfish has been displaying any aggressive behaviour?

LynetteScavo Sat 25-Jul-09 22:09:18

I think it's a 25 litre tank.

I can't see any scales sticking up - but there are a few missing on other areas.

I haven't seen the othter fish being agresive.

Off to google dropsy.

RubberDuck Sat 25-Jul-09 23:13:47

Dropsy is pretty nasty -I can't be sure it's that tbh. I'm more of a tropical fish person (they tend to die of mystery illnesses rather than give you the luxury of a decent diagnosis, bar white spot and neon tetra disease !)

I will say though that water quality could be an issue. A goldfish really needs 10 gallon minimum per fish (about 40L) and ideally 20 gallon for the first and 10 for each subsequent. They are very messy fish and such a small tank will build up toxins very fast. Plus they grow really big - even a small fancy goldfish will grow into the size of a large cooking apple with fins. Unlike popular myth, fish don't grow to the size of the tank - they become stunted on the outside but their insides keep growing leading to a painful end for the fish.

For now, definitely keep up with regular water changes and keep a close eye. Long term I'd look at investing in a bigger tank.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

Washersaurus Sat 25-Jul-09 23:37:12

Fishlopedia suggests osmotic stress - poor water quality?

White spot - have you noticed any small raised white spots?

Are the fish's fins streaked red at all? Could be fin rot.....

It could really be anything, goldfish are really sickly, that is why I stopped keeping them.

Washersaurus Sat 25-Jul-09 23:41:44

Oh or Skin Slime disease - noticed any grey mucus?

This isn't how I imagined to be spending saturday night grin

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Jul-09 08:15:41

Ok, I've ruled out dropsy - and diagnosed fin rot.

Thanks.

sweetnitanitro Sun 26-Jul-09 10:50:21

Any goldfish illness in a 25 litre tank is likely to be caused by poor water quality. Things like finrot and dropsy are usually secondary symptoms of something more serious. Keeping goldfish in too small a tank will firstly cause the nitrAte (and if you don't have adequate filtration, ammonia and nitrIte) in the water to build up to dangerous levels and the fish to become stunted. These lead to gradual organ failure especially of the kidneys which is where the osmotic stress comes in, renal failure has got to be the biggest goldfish killer.

There's not much point just treating the fin rot, you need to get the fish in a bigger tank as soon as you can. Whether you can get a bigger tank in your house or you need to rehome the fish is up to you but it won't survive for long in a 25 litre tank sad

I know what you mean Washersaurus, I gave up keeping goldfish too, they are just so inbred these days and they need so much room. They ought not to be marketed as beginner fish really.

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Jul-09 16:53:50

I had the water tested today - and it was pertty near perfect. So will treat the fin rot.

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Jul-09 16:55:55

I've heard so much conradictory advice on how much space one gold fishneeds -from tank manufacturers/ aquatics center workers/ internet - I'm totally confused

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Jul-09 17:18:55

Would this be big enough for one or two gold fish?

Washersaurus Sun 26-Jul-09 17:56:54

It isn't just the size of tank you have to worry about, it is the filtration. We had 3 fancy goldfish and a few tropicals in a massive Juwel tank with internal filter and we still had to add a big external filter as well to keep it clean - goldfish are really messy.

I don't know anything about Biorbs I'm afraid, we have always had Juwel tanks until we got this new fancy Interpet one (which we can highly recommend for small tropicals)

sweetnitanitro Sun 26-Jul-09 20:12:57

No it wouldn't be big enough. Don't listen to manufacturers about anything, they --have no souls-- don't always tell you what's best. Internet fish forums are the best place for advice that I've found. Not even shops are that good.

I had 3 fancy goldfish in a 37 gallon tank and I would have maybe been able to squeeze one more in, but really they are very messy fish and need loads of space and filtration. For 2 fancy goldfish I wouldn't go any smaller than 25 gallons and for 2 common goldfish no smaller than 35 gallons. Common goldfish (and comets and shubunkins) are best off in ponds really, they can grow up to a foot long and like plenty of swimming space.

sweetnitanitro Sun 26-Jul-09 20:13:18

Meh, why can't I do the strike out thing?

RubberDuck Sun 26-Jul-09 20:19:43

No. I have a biorb (started out with a 30L and now have a 60L). They are great little tanks but totally unsuitable for goldfish despite their marketing.

RubberDuck Sun 26-Jul-09 20:22:56

(sadly I learned the hard way )

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Jul-09 20:24:56

Ok - so what type of fish would be good in that type of tank?

sweetnitanitro Sun 26-Jul-09 22:18:51

TBH you can get a better tank for much less money. Biorb products are overpriced and the filtration is not the best kind you can get. Better to tell us how much space and money you have and what sort of fish you want. Small tropical fish (like neon tetras) might be more up your street but a lot depends on what your tap water is like as well. I know it's complicated but it's worth it grin

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