Strange yellow mark on my shubunkin's belly - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Strange yellow mark on my shubunkin's belly

I'm hoping someone can advise me. I have a shubunkin which I've had for two or three years and have not had any health problems with previously apart from a bit of fin rot a while ago which I successfully treated.

Anyway I've just noticed a yellow (the colour of bile) mark on her underside (I don't actually know the sex tbh) that I didn't notice this morning.

I've taken a photo and will try to upload it.

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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As you can see the base of the fin is stained too. Sorry about the poor quality of the pics
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Can anyone help?? Please??
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-27-2012, 04:40 PM
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Has the spot changed at all? It could just be simple color change. It does happen to goldfish. Can you copy and past the first post here and answer all the questions? Diagnosis Form - Read this before you post.


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post #5 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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No the spot hasn't changed since I noticed it first - it just appeared from nowhere!

1. Size of tank? 35 litres

2. Water parameters

a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 20ppm
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.5, 180 and 180
e. Test kit? Test strips (not sure what you need to know here)

3. Temperature?
Cold water at room temp

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
6 months roughly

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
Shubunkins, 2, about 3inches, 2 years. Also there is a Red Clawed Crab in the tank who spends most of it's time out of the water up in the housing of the pump in the lid. RCC has been in there for several months.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
Ummm not sure what you're asking here but I think the answer will probably be no.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
Fake plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Nothing

9. a. Filtration?
There is a filter that was supplied with the tank and is built into the lid - it was an ex display tank so i don't have a box or any paperwork with it but it's a Betta tank
b. Heater? No

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
Light is on in the evening for about 2 hours once it gets dark otherwise it's just daylight. Again as above - it all came with the tank.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No

11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed? About 30%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap water
d. Water conditioner used? no
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Weekly

12. Foods?
Flake food from my local pet shop - it comes loose so I have no info to hand about manufacturer etc but it smells VERY fishy!!
How often are they fed? Once per day

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
Just the yellow stain/patch
b. Appearance of poop? Rarely see them poop
c. Appearance of gills? Normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used? N/A

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.
Already done
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 04:10 PM
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I'm inclined to think it is just normal color changes. Some goldfish can go through a rather rapid color change. This is a good article on color change in goldfish. I've seen it happen with both my goldfish and my koi. Their colors just change over time. But do keep a close eye on it. If you start to see any other indicators of bad health like flashing, lethargy, or gasping, then it might be a sign of something else.

I know you didn't come here looking for advice on keeping your fish, but I want to point out some problems that are going to be bad for your fish in the long-term. Your tank which roughly equals 9 gallons is way too small for shubunkins. Like most goldfish they grow around a foot long and need really heavy filtration. Your tank and filtration is simply too small to keep your fish alive for very long. Your shubunkin will need a minimum of a 55 gallon tank but will really do best in an outdoor pond.

Here is a picture of the shubunkins owned by a friend of mine. They are about 10 inches long and live in a 90 gallon tank.

Donn's Flickr Photostream


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post #7 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 06:41 PM
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I agree that it is a color change. Goldfish can go through a lot of color changes over time.

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post #8 of 10 Old 06-30-2012, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies - I'll keep an eye on it and hope that it's a natural colour change.
By the way do they continue to experience colour changes throughout their life?

Koimaiden thanks for the advice. I am aware that the tank etc isn't ideal and I'm working on alternatives for them. However I feel I should explain a bit about their history.

Originally I aquired some goldfish as a friend was going to flush them down the loo!! I started off keeping them in a 16l (3.5g) tank and on the advice of my local pet shop I bought my 2 shubunkins as they said that they'd be fine in that tank along with my 3 comets. Bad advice - I know that now. Anyway I happily kept them in that tank for more than a year with a tiny little filter doing things that I guess many beginners do like emptying the tank completely and washing the gravel in tap water every couple of weeks.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I began to fall in love with my fish and wanted to find out more about them. Someone said they'd need more space so I bought their current tank and separated them. Having recently found out more about them I've realised that they still don't have enough space. I'm looking into the possibility of a pond and have been researching solar pump/filters etc.

I intend to do the very best for my fish and until I can sort out a larger living space for them I'm taking great care to maintain the water quality and keep a close eye on them.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-01-2012, 01:26 AM
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I've been wanting to look into the possibility of a solar-powered pond pump for my next pond. After my most recent power outage, I think they would be a great idea. I'm interested in what you find.

I'm really glad that you care about these fish. Shubunkins and comets are really pretty. Anther friend of mine took in some goldfish in a very similar manner to yours; they were going to be thrown into the backyard and suffocated to death. She did her best to keep those fish alive until the succumbed to an unknown illness.

If you're looking for a larger tank, try looking around at second-hand stores. I'm not too sure if you have online trading places like Craigslist but those are often great places to find tanks that people don't want anymore. Now that it is summer, you could even put them outside in a large kiddy pool. In a bind you can even use large plastic tubs as a temporary home. I'm using a 20 gallon one as the quarantine tank for my newest goldfish.


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post #10 of 10 Old 07-02-2012, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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I'm toying with the idea of a large stone sink that I have in my garden to use as an outdoor tank. It's approx 15 gallons which although still not ideal, will be better than where they are now as a next step forward.

I think the solar pump is a great idea as it will give more options for the pond's location.

I'll have to have a look on ebay for second hand tanks - thanks for the advice
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