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Missing Scales (is something wrong?)

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  • Regular Member

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum (and goldfish keeping for that matter), so forgive me if there's some stuff missing in this post.
Me and my girlfriend have 3 commons and one sarassa sitting in a 220 liter tank.
We got them less than a year ago and they seem like they are happy we got them :-).
Recently we went abroad for a week and once we got back I noticed our biggest fish (Bradley) was missing some scales.
Now he's always had some missing, growing back as well. But the patches seem somewhat larger this time what got me worried.
They were showing some signs of breeding behaviour and I recently found some eggs as well.
Water quality is fine, I do 50% water changes every 2 weeks and they get a varied diet.
Flakes, floating and sinking pellets, frozen bloodworms as wel as some fruit or vegies now and again.
No other special treatments except for Sera Goldy Aquatan when I do the water changes.
It might be noteworthy that they're not behaving any different as they ever have before.
Should I be worried and give them some treatment or do you guys think they just lost the scales due to playing around?

Many thanks in advance!



Edited by jschoonj
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  • Regular Member

Welcome to Kokos!  You have some lovely fish.  The big all-red comet in the first picture is particularly beautiful.  They look healthy and well grown.


Spawning behavior involves the male pressing the female against something solid to stimulate egg release. (Since the males chase the females, this will help you tell the boys from the girls. ) Unless the tank contains nothing the fish can bump against but the walls, they often lose scales in this process.  This presents a slight risk of infection in the small wound that results.  However, usually the scales grow back without problems.  Sometimes they grow transparent new scales, so they look they have lost scales permanently. 


You might want to reduce the number of hard ornaments in your tank to avoid further scale loss since they will keep on spawning periodically.


Please read our guidelines for healthy goldfish.  You will see that we recommend 75 liters per goldfish with a minimum of 57 liters per fish.  At that stocking level we recommend changing a minimum of 50% of the water weekly.  The more fish and the larger the fish in the tank, the more water you should change.  Even if your ammonia and nitrite read zero and you have no more than 20 ppm(mg/l) nitrate, you can still have water quality issues.  The one that concerns me in this case is the growth of free-living bacteria that have the potential to infect wounds on the fish.  These feed on organic materials in the tank which aren't measured by standard test kits.  By removing the excess organics with water changes, you keep the bacterial level low.


For future information, if your fish have problems we want you to fill out the Help Request form.  This provides the information we need to determine the nature of the problem.



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