Water Quality  What is Ph?  Aquarium Salt  The Biological Filter  Snails  Feeding  Sickness

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Goldfish Glossary - A list of commonly used terms.

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Though some Goldfish breeds are delecate, Common goldfish are actually very hardy which is why they make such good pets. They can survive in outdoor ponds (even at tempratures which freeze the surface) and will eat almost anything.

However goldfish are also far messier than tropical fish, and produce a lot more waste. They only have an intestinal tract, without a stomach. So they cant digest excess proteins, and instead excreet it back into the water. This is a problem that needs to be addressed either with heavy filtering, frequent water changes, or both. If this is not done, they will eventually pollute their own water to the point where it is toxic, and they will die.


In general, water should be clear. But it is not an absolute indicator of how good the water is for your fish. Cloudy water can still be fine, and crystal clear water can still be toxic.

  Water Changes

Water changes are the process of removing water from the aquarium and replacing it with fresh tap water. Always remember to dechlorinate water. Dechlorinator (also commonly called "water conditioner") is cheap and is sold at virtually all pet stores.

Most tap water is chlorinated, because the chlorine kills bacteria and parasites. Some people believe you can dechlorinate water simply by letting it sit for 48 hours and letting the Chlorine evaporate, but that is not entirely true. Even after that process, there will still be chemicals remaining in the water that do not evaporate and can damage your fish. Water conditioner will completely nullify these chemicals in addition to the Chlorine.

Water changes are never bad for your fish. You can do them every day. But with proper filtration (and assuming your tank isnt overpopulated), you can reduce the frequency of water changes to once or twice a month. Changing 20% to 50% of the water volume is good. Changing more than 50% of the water should be avoided unless absolutely necessary to avoid stressing the fish.

Changing the water will instantly oxygenate the tank and will instantly remove pollutants such as ammonia. So in an emergency there is nothing that will correct water chemistry problems faster than a water change.

Do not forget to use water conditioner on the new water (any water going into your tank needs to be dechlorinated), and if you use aquarium salt, that will need to be (proportionally) replenished as well. You should make an effort to make sure the water is the same approximate temperature as the water in your tank to avoid stressing the fish as well.


People often assume that Goldfish thrive in cold water because they are often referred to as Cold Water fish. It is true that they can tolerate temperatures as low as 30F degrees. Common goldfish can even weather periods where ponds are frozen over, so long as they have enough oxygen and food. But warmer temperatures are healthier because warm water is less hospitable to parasites and bacteria. The ideal temprature of the tank should be in the 72F to 85F degree range, and they can tolerate temperatures to as high as 90F. Common aquarium heaters sold for tropical fish tanks will work just fine for Goldfish as well.

Warmer water holds less oxygen however, so fewer fish should be kept in warm tanks (or additional effort taken to increase oxygen, such as surface agitation or airstones). Temperatures above 90 degrees run the risk of overheating and killing the fish, so if you live in a very warm area, you will need to take care to cool down the aquarium.

Temperature changes should be gradual so as not to stress the fish. All aquariums should have a thermometer so you can track the temperature. Most pet stores sell adhesive strips that you can stick on the outside of the tank that are very cheap (under $2) and unobtrusive.

New fish should be acclimated to the water temperature before putting them into the tank. Float the bag on the surface of the water for 15 or 20 mintues before putting them into the tank. Dumping a new fish into the tank will stress it and increase the possibility of illness or death.

Keep in mind that a stable temperature will discourage breeding behavior. So if you want to breed them, you need to mimic conditions in nature; starting from a cold period and gradually warming. See the breeding section for more information.


Ph measures how acidic your water is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral and is ideal for goldfish. Above 7 is considered alkaline (aka "Hard Water"). Below 7 is considered acidic (aka "Soft Water").

The pH scale is logarithmic...so a pH of 5.5 is ten times as acidic as a pH of 6.5. This is important in that the more radically the pH changes, the more it will stress your fish. If the pH changes by more than 0.3 per day, it will stress your fish. The "normal" range for most fish is between 6.5 and 7.5.

Water can be "Hardened" (made more alkaline) or "Softend" (made more acidic) by way of chemicals that you can buy at most pet stores. Read the instructions and be very careful when altering your water pH. Carbon Dioxied and high water temperatures will tend to make water more acidic (lower the pH). Oxygenated water will tend to be higher pH.

Be aware that the importance of pH is often exaggerated. A stable pH is more important than maintaining it in the ideal range for Goldfish. The process of altering the pH of your tank is likely to stress the fish more than the fact that it is not in the ideal range. The general consensus seems to be that altering the pH of your water is more toruble than it is worth. So you should only alter the pH if it is absolutely necessary.


Aquarium Salt comes in cartons like this
In nature, Freshwater is not the same as what comes out of your tap. Tap water is truely salt free, but most freshwater is not. So a "freshwater" aquarium can contain small amounts of salt and still be considered fresh water. For this reason, many supposed "freshwater" fish will still tolerate moderate amounts of salt in the water, and some even require it.

Goldfish dont absolutely require salt in their water, but it does enhance their immune systems by stimulating them to produce more mucus over their scales (often referred to as their "slime coat"). Goldfish are supposed to be slimy. This is normal and desirable. Salt will enhance gill function as well (allowing fish to absorb oxygen a little better) and reduces the rate of nitrite buildup in the tank.

In addition, salt is toxic to many parasites that infect goldfish (including Ick, the most common parasite). So a salt environment will augment their immune systems in this way as well. Higher concentrations of salt are used as "salt baths" to immerse sick fish in for short periods.

  Salt Tolerance of Other Fish

Goldfish can tolerate low levels of salt. Almost all freshwater fish can tolerate salt to some degree. But be aware that some freshwater fish do not tolerate salt well at all, so make sure you dont have any of these fish in your tank and do not plan on adding them. They include tetras, catfish (including plecos/suckerfish), loaches, and any scaleless freshwater fish (though the consensus seems to be that you shouldnt mix goldfish with tropical fish anyway, salt or no salt). Snails are also not crazy about salt water, but some freshwater snails can endure the amounts you will use in a goldfish tank.

  Be Sure to Use Only Aquarium Salt

Do not use regular table salt. Table salt has Iodine, which is poisonous to fish. You can use Kosher salt but its best to remove all doubt and just use Aquarium Salt from a pet store that is specifically marketed for pet freshwater fish. "Aquarium Salt" is not the same product as "Marine Salt", which has additional stuff in it like calcium that marine fish require. The extra stuff in the Marine Salt may alter you water chemistry in ways you dont want. Marine salt is used for Salt water aquariums. Aquarium salt is used for freshwater aquariums.

Always fully dissolve salt before adding it to the tank. Undissolved salt can chemically burn your fish. Hot water will dissolve salt more rapidly, as will agitation.

The normal amount of salt for a freshwater aquarium is one rounded tablespoon per five gallons of water volume (there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon, and two tablespoons equals one ounce). But follow the directions on the box. To avoid stressing your fish, add the recommended amount of salt slowly (1/4 normal amount per day for four days).

A low concentration of salt is 0.1% (1 teaspoon per gallon). A medium concentration is between 0.1% and 0.5% (5 teaspoons per gallon). A high concentration is 0.9% (9 teaspoons per gallon) or above.

High concentrations should only be used for very short term treatment for sickness. Medium concentrations are dangerous in the long term and could kill your live plants as well. 0.3% (one tablespoon per gallon) is the maximum amount of salt that is safe for goldfish in the long term.

  Keep Track of the Salt in Your Tank

You must keep track of how much salt is in your aquarium. The only way to remove salt is through water changes. Salt should be fully dissovled before being added to the tank. If you lose track of how much salt is in your aquarium, begin doing a series of 50% water changes (once a day) for at least three days (a week is better). Then begin introducing salt again as if it were fresh water.

  Regarding Evaporation

To avoid accidentally putting too much salt in your aquarium, make sure you top off the water in your tank BEFORE you do water changes. Adding water does not remove salt from the tank, it only dilutes it. If the water level is consistend whenever you remove water from the aquarium, then you never have to worry about accidentally adding too much salt.

Replace salt in the new water (proportionally) before putting it into the tank. Once the fish are already acclimated to salt water, you dont have to worry about putting it in slowly anymore.


This chart illustrates how waste is processed by your biological figure. Click on the image to view a larger version.

This referrs to the bacteria that naturally live in your aquarium. You dont have to put these in; they come in your fish and populate your tank by themselves. They exist pretty much everywhere in nature except in your tap water (because it is chlorinated).

The function of these bacteria in your aquarium is to neutralize waste products in the water produced by the fish, thereby reducing the overall frequency of water changes. Your biological filter will not remove the need for water changes completely, it will just reduce how often you need to do them.

Nitrification (Aka "Biological Cycle", "Start up cycle", "Nitrogen Cycle", or "Cycling") is the process by which beneficial colonies of bacteria establish themselves in a new tank. They come with your fish (so the process cannot start until you actually put fish in the tank), but it takes a period of time before they can replicate themselves sufficiently to function as a filter. You'll never actually see them...they are very small. But they are there.

It is possible to cycle a tank without using any fish (by way of adding ammonia yourself) but the process is involved and complicated. Pet stores sell what amounts to fully cycled water in order to "jump start" the process. But the best method is probably to use living fish and plants.

Be aware that Chlorine will kill  these bacteria. So if you are washing places where they live (filter pads, gravel, ect...) you need to make sure that the water you use is already dechlorinated. These bacteria live everywhere in your aquarium, but the biggest concentrations will be where there is moving water. Like your filter (and any media in your filter) or the gravel (if you have an undergravel filter). Most power filters contain filter media with the sole purpose of providing a home for these bacteria, so that you will not lose your biological  filter when you change filter pads.

Do not be fooled by crystal clear water; the fact that your tank looks clean does not mean it is not toxic to the fish. Unlike a lake or a river, an aquarium is a closed system. Waste products produced by your fish and from decaying food in the tank remain in the tank unless they are removed or neutralized.

This can be accomplished by frequent (daily) water changes, but for most people this is impractical. The alternative is a biological filter; using plants or colonies of benign bacteria to convert the waste for you, so you dont have to change the water as often.


When urine and feces decompose in the tank, ammonia is released. There are two types of ammonia, but only one is dangerous to fish. When talking about ammonia levels, this is the type of ammonia that is a concern. Any amount above 0ppm (zero parts per million) is toxic, but levels at 2ppm or more is dangerous. Ammonia levels typically begin rising the 3rd day after fish are introduced to the tank.

An Ammonia Test Kit

If you want to remove all doubt, you can buy a monitor strip from any pet store. These look similar to thermometors that suction-cup to the inside of your tank. They provide a real-time measure of how much ammonia is in the water at any given time. They work continuously, but need to be replaced every one or two months. They typically cost between $6 and $10 if you buy them individually. Pet stores also sell kits with replacement strips that will average out much cheaper.


These are the first type of bacteria that live in the tank. They eat ammonia, but excrete Nitrites, which are also toxic to fish. Nitrite levels begin rising the first week after fish are introduced.


This is the second type of bacteria that live in your tank. They eat Nitrites and spit out Nitrates. Nitrates are also toxic to fish but to a lesser degree, and are harmless at low or moderate levels.

So the point of the biological filter is to convert substances which are very toxic to your fish into substances which are only mildly toxic. Water changes still need to be done to remove nitrates once they get too high, but because your fish have a much higher tolerance for them, water changes can be farther between. Live plants can further augment your biological filter, but have potential problems of their own (see the plant section Setup and Maintanence for more info)

Kits to test for these chemicals are available at any pet store. The cycle is fully established between 2 and 6 weeks after the fish are first intruduced. The bacteria grow more slowly in cold water. So warmer water will accelerate the cycle.

  A Note on Changing Your Filter Media

The filter media in your power filter (if you have one) is where most of the bacteria live. When you throw this away, you killing off the bacteria, and they have to start over with the new media. When changing your filter media, keep in mind that your biological filter will be weakened until it can re-establish itself. For this reason, many commercial filters use separate media...one on which the bacteria grow (which is never changed) and one which is disposable and can be periodically replaced.


There are many species of undesirable pond snails that infest aquariums

Aside from their asthetic value, snails eat one of the true pests of an aquarium; algea.

That being said, moderate to high levels of algea will still reproduce faster than the snails can eat them, and you will still need to scape them off occasionally. Snails dont eat algea evenly either, so are only really effective at controlling low levels of algea. They do eat live plants as well, but not to a great degree. Any live plants that can withstand the constant pecking of goldfish will probably endure snails as well.

Most freshwater aquarium snails are from the species Marisa Cornuarietis (part of the family Ampullariidae...aka "Apple Snails"). Like goldfish, these have been bred into a variety of shapes and colors, but they are all the same species. Marisa Cornuarietis are not asexual, unlike some snails. So if you want them to reproduce, you'll need at least two.

An Apple snail

Their reproductive process involves laying a clutch of eggs outside the water (so they will need several inches of space above the water line). Their eggs vary from pale to bright orange and look vaguely like a teaspoon full of tapioca pudding clinging to the glass. They gestate in about a month. The eggs need to stay moist but cannot be submerged, or the young will drown.

The other type of snail common to freshwater aquariums is the pond snail. This is a generic term that covers several species of snails that are considered pests. These are asexual, and a single one of them can quickly pollute your tank with dozens more just like it in a very short time.

They are generally undesirable because they are so small; they are not asthetically pleasing and dont eat algea very well. They tend not to last long in goldfish tanks though, because goldfish will eagarly eat them. For this reason, a lot of petstores will put a goldfish in with their tropical fish to eat any pond snails that are in the tank.

A Black Mystery Snail, a type of Apple Snail

Other snails should get along with most goldfish fine, although the goldfish may nip at them. For this reason you should keep snails that are big enough that they can weather this behavior (if they are about the size of the largest fish's head or larger, they should do fine). Most goldfish will ignore snails that are too large for them to swallow whole.

Where water conditions are concerned, they should be able to survive in any environment that goldfish can survive in. The general consensus seems to be that aquarium salt is bad for snails, but they can endure the low concentrations found in freshwater tanks. There is a website called Applesnail.Net that has more in-depth information about Apple Snails.


Goldfish are omnivores, and will eat anything they can fit into their mouths. They originated as bottom feeders (similar to catfish) and prefer foods that sink to the bottom or float in the middle, but can eat common flake food on a daily basis. The only reason floating foods arent great for them is because it forces them to swallow air while feeding.

  What To Feed Them

As a staple food, the best food you can feed them is pellets. Most chain stores will sell pellet food of some kind. Pellet food is more nutritious than flake food, and does not easily decompose the way flake food does (so uneaten pellets wont pollute your tank). It will also enhance the color of your goldfish as well. Hikari is one of the major manufacturers of Goldfish-specific pellet food, but Koi pellet food will work just as well. just make sure the pellets are small enough that your goldfish can swallow them.

An example of Goldfish pellet food

Most owners also feed them live (or freeze dried) food such as blood worms or brine shrimp once a week as a supplement. These are very good for the fish because they are high in protien, but will cause digestive problems if given every day. Goldfish will be very happy to eat the live versions of these foods, but freeze dried versions remove the possibility of parasites infesting it. Live food sold at most pet stores is unlikely to have parasites, but with freeze dried foods the chances are almost zero.

The amount of protein they consume (including blood worms, brine shrimp, ect..) should be limited when possible. High protein foods stress their digestive systems. You can be more liberal feeding them fruits and vegetables. Since they contain less protein, they wont stress the fishs' digestive systems as much.

Yes, Goldfish can eat raw fruits and vegetables, and such food is actually good for them. The food should be cut small enough that they can eat it, though they can tear off pieces of more supple foods (like oranges). A lot of people put cut slices in the tank. The fish will graze on it like cattle. Typical foods include oranges (the vitamin C boosts their immune system), skinless peas (often used to treat digestive problems), and lettuce. Cut it in sections that are small enough that they can either swallow it whole or bite off chunks of it. Oranges (or other fruits containing citiric acid) should not significantly alter the water chemistry, but excess food should be removed from the tank once they are done feeding.

  How Often to Feed Them

Feed them as much as they can consume in a 5 minute period, and only feed them twice a day max. People often overestimate how much food to feed goldfish. You have to remember that goldfish are cold blooded, and are kept in an environment where they dont have to expend a lot of energy looking for food or avoiding predators. Feeding them once a day is plenty, and they will actually do fine being fed only a few times a week.

With fruits and vegtables, you can be a bit more liberal. These foods are not dense protein sources, and so are much easier on their digestive systems.

  Avoid Overfeeding

One reason people feed their goldfish so much is because they believe the fish are hungry. But goldfish are ALWAYS hungry. Goldfish are gluttons...they will literally eat until they explode. They are biologically programmed to eat continuously. In the wild, this is a good thing. In captivity, it is dangerous for them. At best, overfeeding them will result in lots of fecal matter which will decay quickly and pollute your aquarium with ammonia. At worst, overfeeding will eventually cause their intestinal tracts to rupture and they will die. So you have to be careful in how much they are fed, especially for smaller fish.

Keep the high-protein foods (like blood worms and shrimp) as a once or twice a week treat to augment their normal diet of flakes or pellets. Feed only once a day or every other day. A sign of overfeeding is a line of feces trailing from their cloaca. If you see this, you need to reduce the amount of food you are giving them. It is always better to underfeed than to overfeed.

Sickness Links:

Animal World - Comprehensive list of diseases, symptoms, and their treatments.

Goldfish Emergency 911 - A very thorough site with descriptions and treatments for all major diseases.


  Swim Bladder Disorder - Video showing an example of a goldfish with swim bladder disorder.

  Anchor Worm - Video of what an Anchor Worm looks like, another common parasite.

  Ick Infected Fish - Video closeup of what ick looks like.


Sickness is most often caused by stress. All fish endures a low level of infection constantly. This is natural and normal. Their immune systems can keep it in check so long as they are healthy. When you handle the fish, or when they are scared, it will cause stress. This will weaken their immune system, which will allow the infections they already have to become stronger. Other factors are parasites and bacteria that are introduced through new fish or live food, injuries, and dirty or contaminated water.

The links to the right have more detailed information on specific illnesses, In this section I will simply give a brief summary of the most common ones.

  Preventing Sickness

Maintaining good water quality is the best method of prevention, and the best way to help the fish's immune system recover. Adding aquarium salt to the tank will enhance their mucus layer and improve the function of their immune system. Salt is also toxic to most parasites as well.

Do NOT pet your goldfish. Many goldfish can become very tame, and some even seem to crave this kind of attention. But petting them rubs off the mucus layer (sometimes called the "Slime Coat") that covers their scales and protects them from parasites and bacteria. Fish are not puppies. Handle them only when absolutely necessary.

  Treatment of Sicknesses

Most diseases can be cured using broad-spectrum anti-biotics from a pet store in conjunction with salt. "Broad Spectrum" means it is basically lots of medications rolled into one...a sort of shotgun solution that spams a bunch of medications at the disease in the hope that one of them will work. And this method often works. Follow the instructions carefully though.

  Salt Dips and Baths

Salt is bad for virtually all aquarium parasites and bacteria. So a common solution to sickness is to submerge the fish in higher than normal concentrations of salt in an effort to kill off large portions of the disease and give the fish's imune system a running start. Salt baths and dips should only use Aquarium salt. Not Table salt or Marine salt.

You do not need an aquarium for a salt bath...just a container large enough for the fish to swim in for the duration of the treatment. Once you have a container, fill it with fresh dechlorinated water that is within 3 degrees (F) of the temperature of the tank you removed the fish from, and add the amounts of salt (fully dissolved) listed below. The salt should not be dangerous to the fish so long as you do not exceed the treatment times. But it is uncomfortable for the fish, so minor agitation is normal. Small or weakened fish should not be subjected to a Dip, only a Bath.

A Salt Bath is the normal course of treatment. Add 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water volume. Treatment should take be between 30 minutes to one hour.

A Salt Dip is a more extreme course of treatment, and is more stressful to the fish. Add 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water volume. Submerge the fish for at least 30 seconds but no longer than five minutes.

Remember to remove carbon filters when medicating, as they will filter the medication from the water. What follows is a list of the most common types of Goldfish illnesses and brief instructions on how to treat them.

This Chocolate Oranda is infected with Ick

  Ick (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis)

Probably the single most common disease in the aquarium hobby, Ick is a parasite that looks like tiny white dots on the surface of the fish. It is potentially fatal if left unchecked, but easy to treat. Ick-specific medication is sold at any pet store and is cheap. Ick does not tolerate salt well at all, and adding aquarium salt to your tank will prevent ick infections and help to accelerate the recovery of fish that are already infected. When treated properly, ick can be cured in as little as 2 or 3 days. It is a virtual certainty that you will come across this disease eventually, no matter how clean your aquarium is, so you should always keep some ick treatment on hand just in case.

No, this fish isnt dead. It just cant stay upright because it's swim bladder is not functioning properly.

  Swim Bladder Disorder

Fish maintain their balance in the water by use of an organ called the swim bladder. If it is deformed or diseased, they will be unable to regulate it and keep their balance. Symptoms include the fish being unable to stay upright and level in the water. The fish may sink to the bottom of the tank or be stuck at the surface. It may even float upside down. The fish will become listless and will probably stop eating, but will otherwise be alert.

Many exotic goldfish suffer from this to some degree due to their body shapes. Countless generations of inbreeding have deformed many of their internal organs, and the swim bladder is no exception. If it is due to a genetic deformity of the organ, there is probably not a lot you can do. But if the fish was swimming normally before, and these symptoms appear in the space of a few days, it is probably due to disease or a dietary problem (like constipation), and not a genetic flaw.

The dietary problem is easy to fix; stop feeding the fish for a few days. Then feed it steamed, de-skinned, and crushed peas (which will cure constipation) until it starts swimming normally again. If it is due to disease, you will need to cure the underlying infection. If you do not know what the infection is, try a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

High nitrate levels can cause swim bladder disorder as well, so be sure to test for Nitrates to make sure swim bladder disorder isnt simply a symptom of Nitrate poisoning.

Fin rot is easy to spot from the frayed edges of your fish's fins

If the problem is due to diet or disease, it could become serious enough to kill the fish. If it is due to a genetic flaw, it is likely the fish will live just fine (though it will probably be irritated at not being able to move around), assuming it can eat.

  Fin Rot

Probably the result of bacterial or fungal infection due to stress, but it can also mean the water has a PH that is too high. Symptoms are ragged or frayed fins. Fin Rot starts at the outer edges and eats it's way to the base. If treated, the fish will eventually recover fully and the fin will re-grow normally. If it reaches the base of the fin however, the fish will never be able to re-grow the fin again. So while it probably wont be fatal, you still need to treat it as soon as possible.

If the fin rot is due to pH, you will need to fix your aquarium pH to stop the fin rot. If it is due to an infection, you simply treat it with medication. There are fin rot-specific medications you can buy at the pet store, but broad spectrum antibiotics will usually medicate fin rot infections as well. Fin Rot may require multiple cycles of treatment to erradicate completely.

An extreme example of Dropsy. Most fish will exhibit more mild symptoms, but the result is the same.


Dropsy itself is not a disease, but a symptom. Usually caused by a bacterial infection of the Kidney, the fish's body will bloat due to fluid build-up in it's organs and it's scales will stand out like a pinecone.

There are dropsy-specific medications available from many pet stores. Epsom Salts will also help by leeching fluid out of the fish (use a small amount...1/8 teaspoon per 5 gallons or 20mg per liter). Use this IN PLACE of Aquarium salt, not in addition to aquarium salt.

The consensus seems to be that Dropsy is 95% fatal however. The organs are destroyed, and even though the fish may appear to get better for a week or two, eventually the organ failure will kill it. Even if the fish survives, it will likely suffer permanent damage from the disease.

Unlike Ick, Dropsy is not very contagious. But the infected fish should be removed from the tank as soon as possible. Medication for Dropsy can be bought from any Aquarium specialty store. If the fish survives at all, it should recover with a week.

  Oxygen Deprivation

If the oxygen content in the water is too low, the goldfish will become lethargic (sitting at the bottom of the tank and not moving around), and attempt to gulp air from the surface (a behavior commonly known as "piping"). Eventually the fish will suffocate and die.

Warm water has lower oxygen content than cooler water, so the warmer the water the more you have to pay attention. Surface agitation (bubbles) will encourage gas exchange and put more oxygen into the water. Power heads, airstones, and bubble walls will also oxygenate the water very well for the same reason.

An immediate solution to oxygen depravation is a simple water change. Thats it. Changing the water will instantly give the fish oxygen. But if it is a continual problem, it may mean you need a bigger tank (more surface area for gas exchange) or fewer fish.


Velvet appears similar to ick, but the spots are much smaller and have a yellow color to them (which is why it is sometimes also called "Gold Dust Disease"). Like Ick, Velvet is also a parasite, and is usually caused by damage to the Goldfish's slime coat. Symptoms can include "flashing"...where the fish rubs up against objects or gravel. Velvet is more contageous than Ick, and more likely to kill the fish than Ick.

Most pet stores sell borad spectrum antibiotics that include medication for Velvet, but medications that cure Ick may work against Velvet as well. Velvet can spread quickly, so the fish should be medicated as soon as symptoms are discovered.

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