Goldfish Illnesses

Goldfish Illnesses can make the expert or novice aquarist anxious. Be reassured that all fish owners will experience goldfish disease at some point.

Many are introduced into your tank with new fish. The most important thing is to not ignore irregular activity or signs from your fish. Use these signs and symptoms to appropriately diagnose and treat appropriately.

If you are serious about saving your sick fish it is optimal to have a 'rescue tank' set up for emergencies. The rescue tank is usually a 10 gallon tank with aerator and filter only. Whenever you think a fish is having trouble it should promptly be seperated from your other fish as a lot of goldfish illnesses are highly contagious. This seperation will also allow healing of the affected fish without the other fish picking on it.

group of goldfish

Anchor Worm

Symptom: A White worm protrudes from a red irritated area on the fish's body.

More information on the Goldfish Anchor Worm.


Symptoms: Very inactive, lies on bottom, appears bloated.

More information on Goldfish Constipation.


Symptoms: Belly appears bloated. Scales stick out straight at sides.

More information on Goldfish Dropsy.

Fin Rot

Symptoms: Fin has missing parts, appears shredded. Eventually can be completely eaten away.

More information on Goldfish Fin Rot.

Fish Lice

Symptoms: Round parasites will be seen clamped on fish skin. Fish will rub up against items in tank trying to scrape off.

More information on Goldfish Lice.


Symptoms: Fuzzy white colored growth.

More information of Goldfish Fungus.


Symptoms: Raised bumps that appear under the scales. With time these bumps will rupture leaving bleeding ulcerated areas.

More information on Goldfish Furunculosis.

Gill Fluke

Symptoms: Gills swell and appear red or pink. Fish swim only at surface. A pus like fluid may come from gills.

More information on Goldfish Gill Fluke.


Symptoms: Small white specks over entire body of fish. Slowed swimming. Rub up against tank ornaments.

More information on Goldfish Ich.

Mouth Fungus

Symptoms: White cottony appearing growth on mouth. Can extend towards gills.

More information on Goldfish Mouth Fungus.

Pop Eye

Symptoms: Eyes appear to bulge abnormally.

Also known as exopthalmus. This is NOT contagious.

Treatment: None. As long as the fish is not suffering there is no reason to be concerned.


Symptoms: Small bumps, lumps or nodules. Similiar in appearance to warts.

Usually benign.

Treatment: None necessary. May be surgically removed by Veterinarian.


Symptoms: Fuzzy growth of Yellow or Gold color.

Causes by parasite Oodinium. This is highly contagious to other fish.

Treatment: Commercially available Fungal treatments and 10 day salt bath. Isolate fish and disinfect tank.

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