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ldm001

Goldfish Growth Under Scales

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HI,

I have two goldfish that are about 14 years old. They are in a 29 gallon tank with gravel substrate and a pretty large 3 stage filter (I think it is a 75gal or similar which holds the sponge, carbon and good bacteria housing. Both fish are around 10" long including their tails. I couldnt tell you what kind of goldfish they are but I can say that I purchased one of them from a feeder tank 14 years ago.

I have a few issues going on that I am trying to resolve but before I take the action that I believe is necessary, I wanted to do a little research to make sure that was best. Both fish are eating algae pellets since the "little one" had swim bladder issues in the past and a vege diet is supposed to help that. He almost died a few times years ago before I changed to this food so I do not want to change food at this point to anything else.

1) The oldest goldfish ("the big one") acts pretty normal, eats regularly (1x per day). Over time, I have noticed a growth growing under the scales. It is located between his bottom fins and the tail on the right side of his body about 3/4 of the way down the side of his body. This part of his body is white but the growth area is actually orange like the top half of his body. Growth seems to be getting larger and larger over time.

2) The younger goldfish (the "little one") has always had some issues probably due to the fact that he was a feeder fish in an unhealthy tank when little. He has had swim bladder issues and even now floats on the top a bit when he makes a pig out of himself. This fish seems to have the bulk of the issues all of the time. He eats 1x per day (same food). His tail has been getting red streaks more recently that I believe are being caused by ammonia in the tank. He also has a growth under the scales but his is on the top of where the tail meets the body just behind the dorsal fin. Today I noticed that the scales seem to be starting to detatch due to the size of this lump.

I have had a very hard time trying to get this tank to cycle. While I am trying to figure out how to fix these issues, I am doing a 40% water change almost daily to help keep the pH and ammonia under control. I do put 1/2 tsp of salt per gallon into the tank during water changes.

So, I have three issues to resolve

1) cycle issue

2) red streaks in tail (which may be related to cycle issue)

3) growth under scales

I just ordered a nitrite test kit since I cannot find it at my local stores. I am also looking into getting a 55 gallon tank but I want to make sure we think that will help the situation. Please let me know your thoughts on all 3 points.

slideshow with picture of each lump can be seen at:

(Hopefully it works)

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I know you said you are working on getting the test kits but can you please fill out the following form.

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
  • * Water temperature?
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Also, are you adding the salt for treatment? It actually worsens toxicity of the ammonia present so I would discontinue using it.

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I definitely think you need a larger tank with two fish of that size. That alone may fix the cycling problem. My initial recommendation for the red growths would be medicated food. But, you would need to separate them into two tanks or use a divider during feeding and weigh each of them for proper dosage. If that is not possible, a water borne antibiotic will probably be necessary.

I disagree about the salt and ammonia toxicity. We have recently found this not to be true. In fact, it will help if your Nitrite is high.

Edited by jmetzger72

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Also, if you could fill out the form that Ashlee 18 provided above, that would be helpful. We particularly need the ammonia, pH, temperature, filter GPH as well as the exact food you are feeding. I know you don't have the Nitrite kit yet.

Edited by jmetzger72

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I would remove the carbon from your filter. You could use that extra room for much needed biomedia. That will also help your cycle.

I wonder if those lumps are tumors. How long have they been there? :idont

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  • HI Everyone.. here are the answers that I could get to the questions below.
  • Test Results for the Following: (All taken by API drop test kit) but after a water change unfortunately.)
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) - Approx .25ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) - TBD
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) - approx 5 ppm
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) - 0ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) - TBD
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) - between 0 and 5ppm
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - looks like about 6.8
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)- pH more basic than 7.6

Other Required Info:

  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?Drops - API brand
  • * Water temperature? approximately 70 degrees F
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29 gallon, 10+ years
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquaclear. I cannot remember if it is 50 or 70. Where can I find this on the filter?
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? recently, daily 50% due to water issues.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Today unfortunately just before tests so I dont think it is totally accurate.
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 - about 10" each
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? API Dechlorinator and pH buffer on occasion. Also add 1/2 tsp of salt per gallon for water changes.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Daily,approximately 5 pellets of wardley algae discs (see paragraph for reason)
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? Never
  • * Any medications added to the tank? Not anytime recently.
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. - None except regular adds during water changes. If ever needed, I will use mardel or jungle products. I have not put medication in the tank for a while but some medications used previously are mardel maracyn, maracyn 2 or jungle fungus products throughout the years.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Lumps as mentioned in paragraph. I also noticed a few scales missing from larger fish with white belly today. Also, as mentioned in original description, the smaller goldfish (mostly gold) with lump on tail has some blood streaks in tail that seem to get worse if I dont change water dailyand make changes every 2 days instead. Some fraying of tail on smaller goldfish but nothing significant where it could be fin rot etc. No blood or white at tips of tail. Some minor scratching of small goldfish but not very often.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Smaller goldfish (mostly gold) likes to hang out near the filter system and does float a lot. This is not unusal for him. I usually try to decrease his food if he floats and it usually improves. Larger white belly goldfish has been resting on the bottom a bit. Both are eating and hungry though.

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I would remove the carbon from your filter. You could use that extra room for much needed biomedia. That will also help your cycle.

I wonder if those lumps are tumors. How long have they been there? :idont

Small Lumps have been around for a while (years) but they werent really growning outside of the fish growth. More recently I have noticed that they seem to be growing at a faster rate than just growth of fish.

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Your AC filter should say 50 or 70 on the top of the lid. If you have the 70, then that is appropriate GPH for the 29 gallon. If you have the 50, then you are underfiltered which may be contributing to your water problems. Have you made any progress on finding a larger tank?

I would also recommend switching from the API dechlorinator to Prime as it will neutralize the ammonia and nitrite as well as dechlorinate the water.

What is you reason for adding 1/2 tsp. of salt per gallon? If it is to treat infection, I don't this level is enough to help much.

Lastly, I understand your concern about your fish floating on certain foods. However, the algae disks are deficient in many nutrients that your fish need. Perhaps we can help you find a better option that will not make your fish float. What have you tried in the past?

Edited by jmetzger72

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Do you have any idea why your 10 year old tank is not fully cycled? Did you change something recently that could have damaged the cycle bugs?

What is your regular water change frequency?

Do you have gravel or other substrate on the bottom of the tank? If so, how thick is it?

Your fish are senior citizens, and it is quite likely they have trouble with conditions that would be just fine for those young fry. I do think getting a larger tank, and changing water at least once a week (you may be doing that now) will be helpful to them. Clean water contributes greatly to fish health.

I agree with another comment that the algae wafers are not adequate nutrition for goldfish, and senior citizens need better nutrition than young folks. A lot of people here use Repashy gel foods. These are easy to prepare, soft, and delicious. The one in the link is rich in algae, but provides more varied nutrients. The contents are similar to the natural diet of goldfish.

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Do you have any idea why your 10 year old tank is not fully cycled? Did you change something recently that could have damaged the cycle bugs?

What is your regular water change frequency?

Do you have gravel or other substrate on the bottom of the tank? If so, how thick is it?

Your fish are senior citizens, and it is quite likely they have trouble with conditions that would be just fine for those young fry. I do think getting a larger tank, and changing water at least once a week (you may be doing that now) will be helpful to them. Clean water contributes greatly to fish health.

I agree with another comment that the algae wafers are not adequate nutrition for goldfish, and senior citizens need better nutrition than young folks. A lot of people here use Repashy gel foods. These are easy to prepare, soft, and delicious. The one in the link is rich in algae, but provides more varied nutrients. The contents are similar to the natural diet of goldfish.

Yes, I was thinking Repashy Solient Green as well :)

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Your AC filter should say 50 or 70 on the top of the lid. If you have the 70, then that is appropriate GPH for the 29 gallon. If you have the 50, then you are underfiltered which may be contributing to your water problems. Have you made any progress on finding a larger tank?

I would also recommend switching from the API dechlorinator to Prime as it will neutralize the ammonia and nitrite as well as dechlorinate the water.

What is you reason for adding 1/2 tsp. of salt per gallon? If it is to treat infection, I don't this level is enough to help much.

Lastly, I understand your concern about your fish floating on certain foods. However, the algae disks are deficient in many nutrients that your fish need. Perhaps we can help you find a better option that will not make your fish float. What have you tried in the past?

I found the filter information, it is a 70. No, I am going to go this weekend to see what I can do about a larger tank. I will probably go up to a 55. Does that seem like it would be sufficient for these fish?

I think I actually have prime here already because I was looking into this previously at the pet shop.

The salt was a recommend on the salt container for goldfish but also a friend of mine who had fish also used it for years. The goldfish have had this salt amount for the entire time I have had them.

The only food I have really tried other than the algae pellets is typical goldfish food or pellets like the floating pellets for goldfish. My small goldfish almost died (laying on his side, upside down on bottom etc) but with a prayer, holding food and a miracle he pulled out.

Do you have any idea why your 10 year old tank is not fully cycled? Did you change something recently that could have damaged the cycle bugs?

What is your regular water change frequency?

Do you have gravel or other substrate on the bottom of the tank? If so, how thick is it?

Your fish are senior citizens, and it is quite likely they have trouble with conditions that would be just fine for those young fry. I do think getting a larger tank, and changing water at least once a week (you may be doing that now) will be helpful to them. Clean water contributes greatly to fish health.

I agree with another comment that the algae wafers are not adequate nutrition for goldfish, and senior citizens need better nutrition than young folks. A lot of people here use Repashy gel foods. These are easy to prepare, soft, and delicious. The one in the link is rich in algae, but provides more varied nutrients. The contents are similar to the natural diet of goldfish.

The only thing I can think of with the cycling of the tank is that it may have been years ago but now there is probably too much waste too fast and the tank cycle can't keep up. I was not really good at understanding the cycle of a tank until more recently and even know I can say that I am not an expert in any way. I have been trying not to touch the bio filter in the filter to make sure that the bugs stick around. I dont know if I am doing something else to hurt them. I did replace the carbon and the sponge in the filter at the same time a few times.

My tank was very green at some point, not the sides but the actual water. I read on line that this isnt necessarily bad for the fish and they didnt seem to mind, it just looked aweful. With the regular water changes now, it doesnt get a chance to grow. I did have a pH problem at that point as well so even the weekly/bi weekly changes werent helping the situation.

Yes, I have substrate at the bottom. It is basically a small/medium sized gravel and is about 1.5"-1.75" thick I would say if even all around.

Do you know if that Repashy will cause issues with my "small" goldfish being that he often has swim bladder issues? I do see that it has a lot of algae in it which is good. I am just really nervous to try being that he almost died previously from a fish food. :( I would die myself! These are my babies. I've never introduced snails or other fish/live plants for this reason.

Do you have any idea why your 10 year old tank is not fully cycled? Did you change something recently that could have damaged the cycle bugs?

What is your regular water change frequency?

Do you have gravel or other substrate on the bottom of the tank? If so, how thick is it?

Your fish are senior citizens, and it is quite likely they have trouble with conditions that would be just fine for those young fry. I do think getting a larger tank, and changing water at least once a week (you may be doing that now) will be helpful to them. Clean water contributes greatly to fish health.

I agree with another comment that the algae wafers are not adequate nutrition for goldfish, and senior citizens need better nutrition than young folks. A lot of people here use Repashy gel foods. These are easy to prepare, soft, and delicious. The one in the link is rich in algae, but provides more varied nutrients. The contents are similar to the natural diet of goldfish.

Yes, I was thinking Repashy Solient Green as well :)

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A few more questions:

Any idea what the lumps could be?

Also, how long would a 4oz bag last me and how much/often do you feed them this food if I did go that route?

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I did some quick research on the soilient green and many people use it and seem to like it, especially for swim bladder issue fish. Any reason that you didnt recommend the super green version which is all plant based?

Does anyone know what kind of goldfish these are??? I have never known if they are boys or girls and what type they are.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.

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We think the lumps are tumors. So, we're not recommending an antibiotic. The best thing to do is to first improve their environmental conditions. The larger the tank the better. A 55 would be an improvement and a 75 would be even better. You want a long tank as opposed to a high one.

I would get rid of the carbon in the AC 70 and replace it with a second sponge. You might also want to add additional biomax to the bio bag in the filter. This will help with the cycle. The carbon is not necessary and can even be harmful in some cases.

Salt is not recommended as a constant additive. This promotes resistance by bacteria and pathogens when it is used for treatment.

Do you vacuum the gravel regularly with water changes?

You need to get some animal protein in their diet. The Solient Green has both plant and animal ingredients which will provide your fish with a more balanced nutrition. The floating dry foods you used probably had fillers such as wheat and soy which can cause floatiness (small sinking pellets are better). I would get a small bag or even request a free sample from our sponsor www.tastyworms.com. Try it and see how your fish respond. I slice it into small bite size pieces. Feed it sparingly at first and then increase it gradually until you find the right amount.

Edited by jmetzger72

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I'd like to add that I think it is fantastic that you have kept these fish for so long. These are just suggestions to help you keep them even longer :)

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The only thing I can think of with the cycling of the tank is that it may have been years ago but now there is probably too much waste too fast and the tank cycle can't keep up. I was not really good at understanding the cycle of a tank until more recently and even know I can say that I am not an expert in any way. I have been trying not to touch the bio filter in the filter to make sure that the bugs stick around. I dont know if I am doing something else to hurt them. I did replace the carbon and the sponge in the filter at the same time a few times.

My tank was very green at some point, not the sides but the actual water. I read on line that this isnt necessarily bad for the fish and they didnt seem to mind, it just looked aweful. With the regular water changes now, it doesnt get a chance to grow. I did have a pH problem at that point as well so even the weekly/bi weekly changes werent helping the situation.

Yes, I have substrate at the bottom. It is basically a small/medium sized gravel and is about 1.5"-1.75" thick I would say if even all around.

Do you know if that Repashy will cause issues with my "small" goldfish being that he often has swim bladder issues? I do see that it has a lot of algae in it which is good. I am just really nervous to try being that he almost died previously from a fish food. :( I would die myself! These are my babies. I've never introduced snails or other fish/live plants for this reason.

One thing that can damage your cycle are cleaning too vigorously and thus losing some of your biobugs. Another thing is allowing so much gunk to accumulate in the filter that other bacteria that are decomposing that waste use up oxygen that the biobugs need. So how do you get it right? I think you should dump the water from the filter each time you change water, and gently slosh the biomedia in the water you removed from the tank to remove excess gunk. Vigorously clean the gunk from the sponge. You don't have to replace a sponge until it starts to fall apart.

Green water actually can affect your cycle. Algae that are so abundant that they make the water green can use enough ammonia that the population of biobugs drops off. Then if you remove the green water algae, there aren't there to "eat" ammonia, and there aren't enough biobugs to do it either.

We recommend only a thin layer of gravel -- like a half inch. Deep gravel can collect waste and foul the water.

I don't think it's possible to predict the effect of a food change on your fish, just try it and observe. Others with "floaty" fish have had good results with it. You can always stop it if your fish has problems. If necessary, you can use a tank divider to feed the two fish different food.

The pictures of your fish were only partial, but from what I saw, they appear to be comets.

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Thank you all for your help.

I am still very concerned about the lumps but I will definitely work on the conditions. I did do a change on Monday and skipped yesterday because they flushed the hydrants here and I didnt want to use that dirty water.

Readings are as follows from the last time I reported:

Ammonia - appx .25ppm

Nitrate - grown to 5-10ppm

pH - about the same as previously and I did not add any buffer on Monday.

Maybe this will help to tell you what is going on in the tank. I am going to see if I can look into tanks this weekend. Not sure how big the 75 is, if I can fit it and if my floor can hold more weight than the 55 but I will definitely look into going bigger if possible. I dont want to get the 55 and not resolve anything. Noted, long rather then high.

Yes, I do vacuum water regularly but I do not slosh around the filter more than once every week or 2. I will try to add more sponge unless anyone thinks there might be an advantage to adding the ammonia bag instead of the carbon or the sponge? I have not tried that. Doesnt seem that the pH or ammonia is my problem today, it is the nitrate. I am hoping to get the nitrite test kit in the mail soon so I can report those numbers. I can try to take out some gravel as well.

I will try to start working in the new food. I just emailed the sponsor to see if they will send me a free sample. If I dont hear from them maybe I will order tomorrow or check my local pet shop to see if they carry it.

For filter cleaning that was recommended above, should I use tank water to clean it and not tap? Not sure I can get all the gunk out with just leftover tank water.

thanks!

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For filter cleaning you must use dechlorinated water, since chlorine kills the biobugs. The most convenient source of this is often the the tank water you removed in the water change. You can dechlorinate some fresh water as well.

If you give the filter a clean with every water change, gunk doesn't build up.

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On days when you can't do a water change, double dose the Prime to neutralize any ammonia or nitrite. Let us know the Nitrite level as soon as you get the test kit in the mail. I would get the second sponge instead of the Zeolite (ammonia remover). The sponges also support beneficial bacteria which is why you must not wash them with tap water. I get mine clean by wringing them out in a bucket of tank water.

The benefit of the 55 and 75, besides more gallons, is the 48" length which will give your big fish more room to swim back and forth :)

Edited by jmetzger72

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Ok all... will do. Didnt get it today. hopefully tomorrow!

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Hi,

FINALLY got the nitrite test kit and it read 0ppm. Ill test again tomorrow before water change.

Removed some gravel and added extra sponge to filter instead of carbon.

Anyone have any good recommendations for tank hunting? I only have local stores like petco and petsmart but not sure they are a great resource for this. Especially if I am looking for a 75G.

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Hi,

FINALLY got the nitrite test kit and it read 0ppm. Ill test again tomorrow before water change.

Removed some gravel and added extra sponge to filter instead of carbon.

Anyone have any good recommendations for tank hunting? I only have local stores like petco and petsmart but not sure they are a great resource for this. Especially if I am looking for a 75G.

Petco, Petsmart, Walmart, Pet Supplies Plus?

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Have you had any experience with pressboard stands? I've read they can buckle or warp with water and I'm assuming it will get a little wet since it is a fish tank. Lol

I'm thinking an iron or steel stand would be better but is that ridiculous?

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Have you had any experience with pressboard stands? I've read they can buckle or warp with water and I'm assuming it will get a little wet since it is a fish tank. Lol

I'm thinking an iron or steel stand would be better but is that ridiculous?

I prefer the metal stands for that reason :)

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