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murkinm 11-24-2006 03:35 PM

Fancy Goldfish has Blackening on fins & base of body
Help. I have a 190 litre tank with 8 Fancies, 2 Plecos & 15 White Cloud Minnows. My fancies vary in size. I have noticed over the past couple of days that my smallest, a Gold Fancy, has some blackening to the tips of its back fins and also to the base of it's body (only on the right, nothing appears to be on the left). I absolutely stumped as to what this might be, is it a fungus of some sort :?: If so, I'd better get to my fish shop tomorrow to get some meds :BIGhmm: All seems okay with all fish, including this one, no unusual behaviour and water quality is just great.

JouteiMike 11-24-2006 06:39 PM

First of all, I want to say that I think the tank is far too small to house all the fish, especially the goldies and plecos. Ideally for goldfish you should have about 10-20 gallons (35-75 litres) per fish. The plecos need a bigger tank too, they can grow over a foot long, 30+ centimeters.

But about the Goldfish, sounds like there's a good chance it would be melanophore migration. A picture would help. Are the dark spots sunken or raised? This would point to a bacterial infection, which would need more immediate attention. But if they are neither, there's no need to panic. The black areas should begin to fade after a week or two. Does the fish appear to be active and have an appetite?

Many people claim their water is fine, but have you tested ammonia, nitrite, and nitrite with a good quality liquid tester? Also I'm curious as to what your pH is, how long you've had the goldies. and what kind of filtration you use.

murkinm 11-25-2006 03:21 AM

First off, I've followed advise from my local aquarist as to the type and quantity of fish for the tank, and as previously advised, all levels are fine. 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate, between 7.2-7.4 PH. Plecos are Chinese and only grow to a max 3". The Tank is a Juwel with Juwel Filtration.

Anyhows, back to 'speedy', the dark patches are not sunken or raised, and as stated before, he appears fine, no change in character, very active and feeding when fed.

This tank has been set up for three months now, had a few initial challenges, but has been stable for approx 4-6 weeks now. Goldfish purchased over a steady period of time.

girlofgod 11-25-2006 10:41 AM

do goldfish change color as they mature? cuz if so, it could just be it's a juvenile and its changing it's color...but i dont know much about goldfish, it was just an idea...good luck!


JouteiMike 11-25-2006 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by murkinm
First off, I've followed advise from my local aquarist as to the type and quantity of fish for the tank

Your tank is about 50 gallons...with 8 goldfish. That's less than 10 gallons per fish, which should be the BARE MINIMUM. I don't think you received very knowlegable advice. Again, if you can afford it, in order to successfully keep all of those goldies healthy and happy, get a bigger tank

Originally Posted by murkinm
and as previously advised, all levels are fine. 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate, between 7.2-7.4 PH.

What is your ammonia?? Both nitrite and nitrate at 0 is hard to believe...that would mean your ammonia could be off the charts. You HAVE to have some kind of Nitrate in your tank in order for it to be cycled and to have all the waste be converted into less toxic waste. This is crucial because goldies are known to produce a hefty amout of waste, same with the plecos.

Originally Posted by murkinm
Plecos are Chinese and only grow to a max 3".

So it's not a pleco, but a Chinese Algae eater? If so, they can still get up to 10" but normally don't exceed 6" in the aquarium, not as big as a common pleco though.

Originally Posted by murkinm
The Tank is a Juwel with Juwel Filtration.

How many GPH is the filter? Usually when keeping goldfish, or any kind of is either best to get a real nice filter, or multiple ones.

So anyway, I think the goldfish is fine. They sometimes show the dark spots when they are healing from some kind of stress related thing or minor abrasions or disease. They should disappear in a couple weeks. About a month ago my lionhead had black areas on his tail, but they are now gone.

JouteiMike 11-25-2006 01:49 PM

It is very common for Goldfish to change color, some do it more dramatically, some hardly change at all.

Most black spots on fins are of little concern, but actually a good sign. These spots develope in an area that was previously injured and is showing signs of healing.

Tracy 11-26-2006 10:47 PM

Goldfish can change colours. I'm not so sure about the fancies, but I had a comet in the past, that I bought when he was silver (that was it's name). It turned black, then fianally orange, before it died (had grown a lot since i bought it). It was an inexpensive feeder fish that I had for about 3 years.

Lupin 11-26-2006 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by murkinm
Plecos are Chinese and only grow to a max 3".

There are several species of plecs.:wink2: Though not all are often available.:) Sizes still vary among species. Common plecs can reach 14 inches. On the side note, plecs tend to poo a lot meaning your water quality deteriorates faster.

Chinese Algae Eaters are catfish but are not plecs and as Mike said, they can still grow from a range of 6-10 inches. They are not suitable with slow moving fish like the goldfish. CAEs tend to suck the slime off the fish and this can be irritating and my harm them making them vulnerable to diseases and stress.

bettababy 11-27-2006 03:23 AM

This is all wonderful advice, so I'll just add a little bit to it... for starters, the standard plecos can reach 18 inches... and yes, I've seen them this size quite often.
As was stated more than once already, I will also agree with the stocking of this tank... fancy goldfish grow to be about 8 inches, full grown, and they grow very very rapidly when healthy and properly cared for. In a 50 gallon tank, 1 or 2 is only temporary. Again, I have seen and cared for full grown fancy goldfish, and they are extremely dirty fish. It was a challenge to keep 3 of them in a 92 gallon tank just due to water quality issues. We were doing 2 - 3 water exchanges each week just to keep the nitrates under control. If we missed water changes, nitrates went so high, so fast, it bottomed out the pH and the entire tank would crash in a matter of days.
It sounds to me like someone at this LFS is just out to make money, with no concern for the fish and the problems that will occur if that many goldfish are left in that size of a tank for too long. For the LFS, that simply means more money that they make in selling you products when the tank crashes.
Color changes are normal in goldfish, as stated previously, so please, DO NOT MEDICATE this tank. Medications, when not needed, can cause a lot of damage to the animals.
As for the water test results posted, again I agree with a previous post... either your test results are inaccurate or there is something severely wrong with your water quality. For a tank of that size to have that many fish and absolutely no nitrate level is simply not possible if the tank is cycled. If not cycled, all of the fish are in grave danger of being poisoned in their own waste until the cycle is complete. How often are water exchanges being done on this tank? How much water each time? What is the feeding schedule? What kind of foods?
Can you please have the water retested with a reliable liquid test kit and post results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH? ALL 4 of these tests are needed to accurately know what is happening in there. Testing just 1 or 2 is a waste of the test kit, because without the other results, it is telling us nothing useful. The faster you can post these, the faster we can help you and your fish.

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