Goldfish Health Problems – Signs of Fish Diseases and Sickness

Hello goldfish owners, I keep getting emails about different health problems owners are having with their goldfish with all sorts of fish diseases and sickness. I am going to talk a little more about this very common issue. What you need to know is that goldfish can become susceptible to different types of fish diseases and will get sick sooner or later. Sometimes a person tries to do everything humanly possible to keep their fish from getting sick but they still do. Why is that?

In order to keep goldfish healthy and free of fish diseases and sickness you need to know how to take care of goldfish. When was the last time you checked your water quality? When is the last time you did a water change? The last time you cleaned the aquarium gravel? Your aquarium filter? People should chart what they do and when and record your water quality readings to see whether there is an increase or decrease in Ph, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc.. Track your results…. Your the one that literally has your goldfish’s life in your hands. If you don’t keep care of goldfish properly they will become stressed and get sick, no question about it.

Goldfish Health Problems - Signs of Fish Diseases and SicknessThere are different things that contribute to the cause of stress in goldfish and they include: overcrowded fish tanks, aquarium light always being left on, rapid temperature changes from water changes, spawning, rough handling of fish, and of course diseases and parasites. If you can reduce the stress from fish you can increase your chances of success in your goldfish hobby.
Here is one thing I want to strongly emphasize is watch out when using herbicides, pesticides and lawn and garden fertilizers around you home. This can have a devastating impact on your water quality should it happen to get in your pond for all you pond owners as well. This will lower water quality and potentially kill all your goldfish in your pond. The best word of advice is don’t use these around your pond….. Trust me, I’ve heard many stories from people that woke up one morning only to find all their fish dead in the pond. Yes goldfish may be cheap but if you had beautiful koi in your pond, it’s a whole different story. Koi can be expensive! So next time you want to get your lawn sprayed, think twice!

Signs of goldfish problems:

Goldfish lethargy/inactivity

CAUSE: This is a sign usually of poor water quality due to high ammonia and nitrite. The cause of poor water quality is mostly due to overcrowding your aquarium or pond and overfeeding your fish. Another possible cause as mentioned for home owners having ponds could be the spraying of lawns as mentioned above.

RECOMMENDATION: Water quality should be tested immediately after noticing lethargy/inactivity among goldfish. If you have high levels of ammonia and nitrite an immediate partial water change is needed. You should change about 1/3 of the water in your aquarium or pond. Always be sure to when doing water changes to always add chlorine remover as well. Continue to test water quality daily and small water changes till water quality levels become good.
Goldfish gasping at surface of aquarium or pond

Goldfish Gasping For Air In Aquarium Fish TankCAUSE:  Goldfish are usually seen gasping at the water surface mostly due to low oxygen levels. Remember the more fish you have in your aquarium or pond will decrease oxygen levels as well. If your fish are gasping for air then you probably have too many fish in your aquarium or pond.
RECOMMENDATION: You need to lower your stocking levels by giving away some fish to neighbours or friends if that’s the case. If it’s not due to fish stocking levels you need to increase aeration to your aquarium or pond by use of an air pump. For pond owners, hot summer days can lower oxygen levels as the water temperature heats up. When you see your pond fish gasping for air at the waters surface turn your hose on and let it spray into your pond, this will help.
Goldfish fungus, ich/white spots, tail rot, ulcers

Fantail Goldfish Sick With Ulcer - Open Red SoresCAUSE: Goldfish diseases often occur when fish are stressed. Fish diseases and parasites can happen due to many reasons. A couple off reason off hand are buying sick fish from pet store and introducing goldfish to other healthy fish. Not properly cleaning equipment after treating diseases and parasites only to re-introduce the sickness back to your aquarium or pond. One of the biggest causes is overcrowding your fish tank or pond and overfeeding your goldfish.
RECOMMENDATION: Identify fish disease or parasites and treat with the proper goldfish medication. Stop overfeeding your fish, reduce stocking levels if aquarium or pond is overcrowded and sterilize aquarium and pond equipment properly after treating fish. Clean your fish nets accordingly.
I hope that this follow up I’ve provided hear will help and answer some of the many emails I’ve received lately concerning goldfish health, fish diseases and sickness. I urge you all to read and follow the tips and suggestions here when taking care of goldfish and other types of fish. If you have the proper game plan and knowledge when it comes to fish you’ll have greater success. To those parents looking for help and advice for their child’s goldfish, hope this helps guide you in the right direction. I receive many emails from many parents looking to save the life of their child’s sick goldfish. I hope that my goldfish blog will help you along the way.
I always welcome comments! Please feel free to comment add to the discussion and help other people who have goldfish questions in the comments below. I thank you all for visiting my goldfish blog and look forward to speaking to you all.
Jamie Boyle
The Goldfish Guy
“Helping Goldfish Owners With Advice, Fish Care and Fish Medication Treatments for Goldfish Diseases, Illnesses and Parasites”

2 comments on “Goldfish Health Problems – Signs of Fish Diseases and Sickness

  1. Emily J on said:

    Firstly; many thanks for this great site. I’m sure there are so many happier goldfish (and owners) out there because of you!

    I have a pronlem with one of my goldfish and would be greatful gor any advice:
    I have two 5yr-old goldfish, which until now have been happy and healthy. Last week we got them a new tank because they were outgrowing there old one. Until today, they seemed fine with the change, but I just noticed one of them lioks unwell. He (I think it’s a “he”!) looks likes his whole surface is peeling, especially around the face. He’s otherwise behaving normally and very active, and the other fish is fine with no signs of the peeling problem.

    I’ve just cleaned the filter again, and done a 30% water change. I’m about to test the pH etc levels.

    I really hope the new tank hasn’t been too much of a shock for them.

    Any advice on what could be wrong with him, and what we should do?

    Many thanks,

  2. Hannah Taylor on said:

    We’ve had four goldfish since August, their water is changed on a weekly basis and food is alternated so that they don’t get bored. This morning we noticed one of them laying on it’s side and breathing slowly. I have isolated it from the others and checked for signs of fungus and parasites, there are none. He’s not eating and is breathing slowly, is he dying? If so why?

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