Help, has my goldfish got a parasite?

2010
09.13

Question by Wallpaper15: Help, has my goldfish got a parasite?
My lovely fantail lives in a nice big home with a filter and live plant. I am beginning to wonder if he has some kind of parasite as he gulps at the surface for AGES and “yawns” a lot. The filter isn’t quite fully cycled but I do 30% water changes every other day, and when I thought the problem could be due to oxygen/ammonia levels I changed 50% of the water… I thought he was cured but then he still continued to gulp. Other than this he is full of life and movement, but after I started to think it might be a parasite I did notice he does a lot of rapidly swimming downwards and sort of scraping his left side onto the gravel as he does so. Before I just thought he was over excited but now…

Here’s what I have done:

*Thought it was oxygen levels- bought a plant to go with filter.
*Increased flow rate of filter.
*Thought it could be ammonia and did 50% water change. (I even use water dechlorinator that has something that gets rid of excess ammonia)
*Now I think it could be a parasite.

Upon closer inspection, I did notice that if I look at his underbelly, next to one of his pectoral fins is a dark spot that looks almost like a little hole or like something is attached to it. Could it be the early formings of a parasite? This is the side he smacks against the gravel too.

Please help me, I did so want to be a good owner to this little pet. I found the remedy “Tetra Medica Gold Med” will that work? Thanks
OK, thanks for your help so far! I’m planning to go to this really good aquatic store near me soon, should I take some water there and get it tested? And if it turns out its not the water, have a look at parasite treatments then?

Best answer:

Answer by danielle Z
First you should not just guess at the water quality you really should test and have accurate results here. Just because you change out 30-50% of the water this doesn’t last long in an uncycled tank. TEST or get the water tested here before you start dumping chemicals into the tank.

If your fish is scraping or “flashing” regularly it could be the start of ich or some other parasite.

Do not use chemicals to attempt to rid the tank of ammonia. Water changes only. If you start using items like ammonia out or Ammonia lock your ammonia readings won’t be accurate and you will not know for sure what they are or when to do a water change.

The underbelly black spot could simply be an ammonia burn where the elevated ammonia has burnt into his belly. Or it could be healing from his “scraping”.

Before you start dumping you need to be sure of what he has if anything at all.
I cannot see on the bottle (pictures) where this product kills parasites since it is not sold here in the US There is very little info on it. You really need to be sure what you are treating for.

I would suggest, keeping an eye on your fish for now and the “black spot”. Watch his behavior. Do not add ammonia lock or anything else to your tank. Get a test kit test the water daily and continue to do water changes as needed..

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