Breeding Tubercles Not White Spot Disease (Ich)


By Jamie Boyle

A common mistake that goldfish owners make which is quite easily done is treating their fish for ich when in fact it’s breeding tubercles. Proper diagnosis in identifying diseases can save you time, money, and eliminate stress on fish. These breeding tubercles that you see appear like pimples on the gill plates. Lots of people mistaken this for ich when in fact it’s not.

Male goldfish develop these breeding tubercles several times throughout the year. This symbolizes that the goldfish are ready to breed. A good way to tell whether it’s ich or breeding tubercles is to observe the rest of the body. If the white spots or pimples are only on the the gill plates then they are breeding tubercles. If there are spots elsewhere that appear on your fish then you have ich. If it turns out to be ich then I would suggest getting ready to start treating your goldfish for whitespot disease.



5 comments on “Breeding Tubercles Not White Spot Disease (Ich)

  1. Anonymous on said:

    hi there, i have just been reading your article about the breeding tubercles on goldfish. I have 2 goldfish that seem to have this , at first i thought it was white spot, but i couldnt understand why they didnt have these white dots anywhere else. only just on the gills. I have been using a white spot treatment and now i think i know why , these dots aren't going as i have been using this white spot treatment for over 2 weeks! Do i need to do anything else for my goldfish and do the tubercles, disappear after a certain time?

  2. Anonymous on said:

    I have a sarassa comet and for the past couple of weeks he has been developing a big black spot on the top of it's head and it appears to be growing. He is in a round 3 gallon tank. I feed him flakes and clean it about every weekend and a half to 2 weeks. The store I brought him at said all of this would be fine. What could the spot be? Do you suggest changing anything?

  3. Anonymous on said:

    I have a goldfish which has white spots on the tail, fronter fins and places nearer the tail.I am not sure if it is breeding rubercles or white spot disease.All I know is that the spots do not look like pin heads…thank you for listening to my concerns

  4. Anonymous on said:

    One of my goldfish has white spots (not sure if ich or breeding tubercles)on its tail, front flippers and stomach, near fromt flippers,it chases other goldfishes, it chases one nudges it and then it gives up. Can female fish have breeding tubercles? One of the fish with white spots chases another one with a few white spots…

  5. Hello!
    I am an aquatics veterinarian in Denver, and I just wanted to say how useful your website is for my clients! I have had clients be able to determine the sex of their fish by reading this, and I just wanted to pass along to keep the goldfish information coming. If there is anything I can do to help facilitate good health for pet fish, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks, best wishes for your fishes!

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