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BrettFish

What's wrong with Bubba?

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Bubba is a 3-inch long common goldfish I've had for a couple years and I've started to notice something strange. He's starting to develop small black dots on the top of his head. I've noticed no external parasites and he seems entirely active and happy, so I'm a little confused. Is he going to get ich? Is he developing breeding stars? I know those are both white but I'm running out of ideas. I've also been feeding my fish color-enhancing granules from tetra, as well as some carrots, lettuce, and bits of worm much more recently so I wonder if that has something to do with it. Please help, I'm VERY worried :cry1

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INFO:

Tank size- 15gal, running for four weeks

Water Change- 50% 2-4 times per week, last change yesterday

Fish- 5 including Bubba. 2 common & 1 comet (3"), 1 black moor & 1 fantail (1-2"), added last week

Medications- Melafix 2-3 weeks ago for fin rot

Filter- Aqua Tech Power Filter, rated for 10-20gal

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A picture would help, but it is quite possible those are ammonia burns. A 15 gallon tank is too tiny for all of those fish and it is possible that adding the last one caused the ammonia to spike and resulted in the burns. The good news is that the black tissue means that the burns are healing.

The bad news is that you need a much, much bigger tank to keep all these guys healthy long term. Perhaps you could check out your local Craig's List and see if someone is selling a big tank. We recommend 15-20 gallons per fish.

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A picture would help, but it is quite possible those are ammonia burns. A 15 gallon tank is too tiny for all of those fish and it is possible that adding the last one caused the ammonia to spike and resulted in the burns. The good news is that the black tissue means that the burns are healing.

The bad news is that you need a much, much bigger tank to keep all these guys healthy long term. Perhaps you could check out your local Craig's List and see if someone is selling a big tank. We recommend 15-20 gallons per fish.

Thank you very much! The strange thing is, though, that only bubba has these spots.

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Hello and Welcome. I'm sorry your having some fish issues. I'd like to add to what Motherredcap (Susanne) had said to her great advice. When you added your new fish to your tank did you quarantine him/her? Most likely your fish came in with some disease/parasites. We recommend to qt a new fish with prazi and salt for several weeks.

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In your first email you state that you have had Bubba for a couple of years, but state this 15G tank has only been running for 4 weeks. Were these fish in another tank before this one? If so, did you cycle this new tank before adding these fish?

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I did cycle it, yes. And bubba was living in a much smaller tank until recently, since I didn't fully understand the needs of goldfish. Just now I netted each of my goldfish to check for similar symptoms but there were none. I also want to add that the dots on his head are very small- smaller than ground pepper. Also, the dots are not swollen.

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Ok, great. We have all been there. You are trying to do it right and researching their needs so that is a great start. If you could provide the water parameters of your current tank, that would be a great help. Do you have a test kit for the water? If not, would you be able to take a sample to a store for them to check?

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A picture really would help but ammonia burns are likely (unless it is a colour change of some sort). Some fish are just more sensitive than others and he could have reacted to the ammonia more (or in a different way).

Sterilite plastic containers - those clear plastic boxes - make good QT or emergency tanks. You could pick up a 45 litre one inexpensively and place him there, changing the water daily to help him heal. A bigger tank will do wonders for these guys.

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Is there a way you could get the rest of the answers to the form, please? Everything that is asked there is important, especially all of the water parameters.

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Is there a way you could get the rest of the answers to the form, please? Everything that is asked there is important, especially all of the water parameters.

Yes, we need the water tests if possible. I agree that these could be ammonia burns.

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Do you think a 30-55gallon tank would work?

Not for 5 fish. A 55 could house 3 Fancy goldfish. But, the commons get big and need a lot of space.

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. I would like to be able to breed them, so once I figure out what gender they are, I think it would be best for them to find a new home. This really sucks :/

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Brett, you should check out our pond thread, particularly Dieselplowers (Jason) pond. Its in Michigan and runs all year.

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Jason has an awesome little pond. If you could get one, that would be a solution to your issue. If a pond or big glass tank is not in the cards, I would suggest finding a Laguna Dealer near you and figuring out how much it would cost to order in a 51" x 32" x 18" preformed basin. While still 127 gallons of water, it's much safer to keep indoors and that way you could keep enough fish to breed while not being overrun with tanks.

Edited by ChelseaM

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I live in Wisconsin, could you give me a rough estimate on how much it would cost to have a pond with a heater? I've seen some good deals on pre-made ponds so the heating would be the main issue. Regardless, I just graduated highschool last year and still live with my parents, so I have to run all this by them.

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That's just it, though: You don't need to heat your pond. I don't believe Jason does, and he lives here in Michigan. We've got the same climate as Wisconsin in terms of how cold and snowy it gets. I'd suggest checking out his pond thread on how he does it. :)

Edit: also, before you set all this up: Are you going to be going off to college? If so, I would probably go with your initial idea and rehome some of the fish. I am in college right now (my fourth year) and know how difficult it is to pull off big tanks with school. Definitely not for everyone.

Edited by ChelseaM

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I'm planning on going back to school next year. My entire school career has been a living nightmare, not so much from an academic standpoint, but a social and psychological one. I definitely need this break. I'll probably just start out with a couple classes at a time instead of going at it full-bore, so I'm hoping to have some time left for my fish.

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I think this might be the worst possible time for me to get into goldfish but I love 'em to death and I don't wanna have to get rid of them.

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Life does have to come first, though. It's better to keep a few properly than lose them all to things like a college dorm that won't let you keep them in the sized home they need or the terrible conditions of an overstocked or unintentionally-neglected tank. I personally had to make this decision, which resulted in me rehoming one of my breeding pairs this summer (only a couple months after getting them) because I wasn't allowed to keep the tank they required on campus. But, to get them happy enough to breed, you'll have to keep them properly. Fish in poor conditions aren't going to make any babies. It was a terribly rough decision, but luckily I was able to find them a home with Jason at his place, so I know they were well cared for. I know it's a small consolation compared to keeping them, but it's not us that we have to think about. It's them.

Just my :twocents based on experience. However you take it is up to you.

Edited by ChelseaM

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