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Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 665
Experience:  dasdasd
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Do you help with gold fish that are in home tank, Fish is

Customer Question

Hi do you help with gold fish that are in home tank
JA: Hi there. The Vet will be able to answer your question, plus any follow-ups you may have. What's the fish's name and age?
Customer: Fish is 7years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Fish?
Customer: I have had the fish from a baby and have looked after it and had enough space and regular clean water regularly kepeted temp at 19_20deg now he has developed white lump on head and gill
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
File attached (616S26T)
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 14 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Please keep trying
Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

I am sincerely ***** ***** there was a delay in someone responding to your question. (Experts are independent contractors and as such are online based on their own schedules.) However, I am available and can assist you if you still need veterinary advice.

Hello and thanks for posting your question on My name is***** and I have been a licensed and accredited veterinarian in the US for over 22 years, specializing in aquatics, reptiles, amphibians, avian and other exotic species. JustAnswer is a question-and-answer service, not a veterinary telemedicine or emergency service. On this platform veterinarians can provide insight and advice based on the information you provide, but as this is not considered a legal client-patient relationship and we cannot examine your pet, we are unable to provide definitive diagnoses, prescribe medications, provide medical records or sign documents for your specific pet. For any of those you would need to make an in person visit with a local veterinarian. If your pet has a serious illness or life-threatening emergency, I strongly recommend you obtain hands-on veterinary care with a local veterinarian or veterinary emergency service as soon as possible. I am happy to chat with you via the JustAnswer app via text. For US based clients, if you are interested in a phone call instead that is an option you can choose for an additional charge. In the meantime, I am putting together some questions and/or suggestions to help with your pet’s concern.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

Thanks again for posting your question, I'm sorry that your goldfish Fish is under the weather and has developed a light colored bump on its head and gill. I have some questions that will help me get a better idea of the fish’ environment and what may be going on with your fish:

-What are the current tank water quality values (specifically ammonia and nitrite, though pH and nitrate are helpful as well)? If you haven’t already tested, please test at least ammonia and nitrite and share those results with me, thanks.

-What is the tank volume and what type of filtration do you have on your tank?

-How often do you do water changes and how much water do you change?

-Are there any treatments or medications in the water or have any been recently used?

-Has there been any recent additions or illnesses in other residents of the tank?

Thanks very much for providing additional information, it is very helpful for me to try and figure out what is going on with your fish and the history information will help me to do that.

Thanks for the photo. If you have any other photos, perhaps closer and more in focus, that would be most helpful so I can try to narrow down potential causes. Thanks.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

For any sick fish, I recommend ruling out environmental problems first as a cause of the signs you are seeing. Built up levels of ammonia and nitrite, in particular, can poison your fish and make them sick. You may see signs such as loss of appetite, lying on side or on the bottom, floating, skin ulceration, discoloration of skin or fins (white patches, reddening of fins or fin bases), eye problems (swelling, cloudiness), tail fraying, lethargy, piping at surface, etc. It is vital to do water testing to know if the water quality is good or if it needs to be addressed.

I would start right away by testing the water for ammonia and nitrite using an aquarium test kit. If you have the ability to also test for pH, nitrate, KH and GH that would also be recommended. If the values are out of range, e.g. ammonia or nitrite are above 0 ppm or nitrate is above 20 ppm, then perform a 30% water change with water that has been treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramines and detoxifies ammonia. Also important to check that the water temperature and check that the filter is working properly and exchanging and aerating the water properly.

Some pet stores will do free water testing but that isn't convenient especially if you need to do repeated testing. Home options for water quality testing in the UK include Interpet's Easy Test Complete Aquarium Dip Test Kit or King British's 6 in 1 Water Test Strips for around £12-15 per bottle. The strips test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and water hardness (KH and GH), so these would be your best value.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

If ammonia, nitrite or nitrate values are elevated, then I would recommend a regimen of water quality testing and, if needed, water changes using water that has been treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines.

-If ammonia or nitrites are not zero but in the 0-0.25ppm, then perform a 25-30% water change. Recheck values daily (in the AM) and water change if values are still 0.25ppm.

-If ammonia or nitrites are 0.50ppm or higher, then perform a 25-30% water change in the AM and another water change in the PM. Recheck values daily (in the AM) and water change if values are still 0.50ppm, continue with twice daily water changes. If the values have dropped to 0.25ppm, once daily water change is ok.

-Once AM readings are 0 ppm for both ammonia and nitrite, you can back off the frequency of water quality testing and water changes to every 3 days.

-Once AM readings remain 0 ppm for two consecutive tests (6 days), then you can back off water changes to weekly and testing to twice monthly.

To help boost the development of your biological filtration, you can purchase and use a commercial source of beneficial bacteria. You add it initially based on the volume of the tank and then with each subsequent water change (based on the volume of the water change). With any of these products, make sure they are well within date, that they are stored in a dark and cool location and that you shake the bottle well before dispensing.

Commercial sources of beneficial bacteria

Dr. Tim’s Aquatics ONE and ONLY Live Nitrifying Bacteria

Fluval Cycle Biological Enhancer

Seachem Stability

Microbe-Life Aqua Balance

MarineLand Bio-Spira Freshwater Bacteria (FW Only)

API Quick Start or Stress Zyme

Tetra SafeStart Plus (FW Only) or FilterActive

Depending upon your tank size, once you get water quality back under control, you should institute a regular schedule of water changes and tank maintenance. If the tank is less than 20 gallons (75 litres), then weekly 25% water changes are recommended. If your tank is larger and the ammonia and nitrite tests remain 0 ppm after 2 weeks, you could do water changes every 2 weeks.

If using a sponge filter, it should be rinsed out weekly, if using a power filter then media should be cleaned every 2-4 weeks depending upon the size and the amount of fish in the tank. And gravel should be siphoned once monthly to remove accumulated debris. This can be done with a manual aquarium Gravel Vacuum in concert with regular water changes since it removes water in addition to waste from the gravel. I don't recommend doing all the tank maintenance at the same time, to avoid disrupting the biological filtration (good bacterial biofilms) too much. Siphon 1/2 the gravel one week and the other half in a week or two.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

If water quality is normal and there is obvious signs of disease, white spots, fin fraying, bloating, raised scales, skin discoloration, then the best course of action is to try and figure out the most likely cause of the signs you are seeing to choose the best course of in-tank therapy.

The “gold standard’ and only way to definitively diagnose the cause of skin lesions in fish is to have a veterinarian do a gentle skin scrape or a small gill clip and microscopic analysis. A veterinarian with fish experience can do this, usually after gently sedating the fish.

If that is something you are interested in pursuing here are some resources to try and find a fish vet in your area:

Without a definitive diagnosis, the best course of action is to start with water quality testing and tank maintenance to rule out an environmental cause. But if there are visible lesions, there may be clues as to which type of infection it might be from the appearance of the any visible lesions or areas of discoloration.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

There are many things that can cause slow growing masses on or under a fish’s skin or fins or gills. Some masses are caused by infections (such as granuloma, a slow growing mass in which the body attempts to wall off a fungal, bacterial, parasitic or atypical mycobacterial infection), trauma or healing trauma (such as a fin ray fracture) or a cancerous tumor. Chronic water quality issues can lead to changes in skin and predispose fish to secondary infections from bacteria, fungus or parasites.

There are a number of cancerous tumors that fish can get such as fibromas, fibrosarcomas, sarcomas, malignant melanoma, nerve sheath tumors and thyroid tumors, though there are certainly other types. Some types of tumors are benign, meaning they grow slowly and do not spread, while others are malignant meaning they are more aggressive and they may not only spread locally but also seed additional tumors throughout the body. The only way to definitively diagnose what is causing a mass or tumor is by either taking a sample of the mass via needle or biopsy or by removing the mass entirely, which may not only be diagnostic but curative for local, benign tumors.

If your fish has growing skin masses, it’s first a good idea to rule out underlying water quality as a predisposing factor by testing the water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ammonia and nitrites should be 0 ppm and nitrates should be less than 20 ppm. If these are normal, then next steps may be therapy with salt in the water to help prevent secondary infection. Antibiotic or antifungal therapy (botanicals such as API Melafix or Pimafix or pharmaceutical therapies) can be tried in case there is an underlying infectious cause, though topical therapies are not always successful at penetrating granulomatous masses. And lastly diagnostics and treatment by a trained fish veterinarian would be recommended, especially if the mass continues to grow, ulcerate or interfere with the fish’s ability to swim, eat or breathe.

If that is something you are interested in pursuing here are some resources to try and find a fish vet in your area:

The over-the-counter medications available in the UK to treat fin and skin lesions include NT or AquaCare Anti-Ulcer & Finrot, these two products are similar and contain acriflavine, 9-aminoacridine HCI and formaldehyde and Interpet Antifungus & Finrot Plus with contains phenoxyethanol. So, if water quality is normal and there is no response to Melafix/Pimafix and salt therapy, you can try the NT or AquaCare Finrot products as acriflavine is antibacterial and formaldehyde is both antifungal and antiprotozoal so would cover many of the most common causes of skin lesions.

Expert:  CarynP625 replied 13 days ago.

I would also recommend concurrent use of salt therapy as this can help not only treat, but help with healing and decrease fluid loss through skin wounds.

Salt therapy (using sea salt, aquarium salt or tonic salt, NOT iodized table salt or Epsom salts) can help support your fish to heal and fight infection and can help them with osmoregulation (movement of fluid across body membranes). It also helps prevent some secondary medical problems that can develop from elevated nitrites and nitrates in the tank water.

Recommended amount of salt is:

-Aquaria: 1 level Tablespoon of aquarium or sea salt for every 5 gallons (19 litres) of water. Salt is added one time only. But once the initial dose is added, additional salt should be added when you do water changes to replace what was removed.

Mix salt in some tank water outside of the tank (e.g. in a cup or bucket) and, after it is fully dissolved, add the salt water mix back into the tank. If you have a sump or external filter these are nice places to add the salt as it will help distribute the salt evenly in the tank. If not, you can sprinkle the saltwater over the top of the tank and then gently mix with a net at the surface. No need to vigorously mix as this may disturb your fish. Salt therapy is typically left in for at least 10-14 days but can be extended indefinitely if needed (for example with skin wounds, use until they are completely healed). I like to use it until any wounds are completely healed.

Perform regular water changes as needed. When you do a water change during salt therapy, please remember to add salt back in with the added water as you have taken some salt out with the discarded water. You should add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per gallon (1/8 teaspoon of salt per liter) of replacement water.

Once you are done with therapy, perform a 25% water change. After that, routine weekly water changes will continue to decrease the amount of salt in the tank over time.

Salt therapy can be used at the same time as other therapies, such as antibiotics, in tank antiseptic therapies or homeopathic remedies (like API Melafix). Carbon/activated charcoal does not need to be removed during salt therapy but should be removed during any other in-tank therapy.

I should be notified if/when you respond with additional information but, in the meantime, I hope this information is helpful and I look forward to further connecting with you about your goldfish Fish. I sincerely ***** ***** both the best. Thanks again for posting your question to Sincerely, ***** *****