Goldfish are the type of fish which require very low maintenance. However, like other pets, diseases can affect goldfish. Most of the problems begin with the skin of goldfish. The viruses, the bacteria and the fungal infections are all responsible to infect their skin. If you are not vigilant, these infections can be fatal. Here is a list of top 10 skin diseases which can affect goldfish.
1. Skin ulcers – Sometimes you will notice white patches on the skin of goldfish. Sometimes you will notice a white edge on their skin. These problems are labeled as ulcers. It is a kind of a bacterial infection. This infection makes the skin ragged. The fish lose the shine and their skin looks like raw.
2. White spots – You can see small whitish spots on the skin of goldfish. Experts call it as ich. This is due to a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifilis. These white spots are on the whole body of the fish – on the skin, on the fins and on the gills. Poor condition of water can be blamed for such disease. If you are not observing your fish keenly, this infection can easily spread to the entire fish population in your aquarium.
3. Velvet disease – You can see a golden coating on the skin of goldfish. This coating looks like a coat of velvet. Many times this disease is called gold dust disease. It is very difficult at times to detect this disease because of the golden color of goldfish.
4. Trichodina – This disease is due to a parasite and it causes itching as well as skin irritation among goldfish. The infected fish try to rub their body against a wall or other fish. This may also cause wounds which may generate another infection. Bad water conditions are responsible for this disease.
5. Costia – This is another disease caused by parasites. There will be some patches on the skin of the fish which will look slimy. Soon they become milky. Thereafter the gills of the fish are infected and it becomes very difficult for the fish to breath. If this disease remains untreated for some time, it will spread all over the fish population in the aquarium and it can become fatal soon.
6. Argulus – This disease is due to parasites which can be seen with the naked eye. They move around the body of the fish very freely and they will take their food from the blood and other body fluids of fish. These parasites will lay eggs frequently and there reproduction will be very fast. If you are not taking remedial actions quickly, this disease is very difficult to control.
7. Fungal infections – Goldfish appear fluffy or cottony on the skin. This is a rare disease and such infections will not occur in an aquarium which is well maintained. However, fish may get infected as a consequence of ich.
8. Lymphocystis – This is a viral disease. You will observe whitish or grayish lumps on the skin of the fish. They are caused by skin cell clusters which are overgrown. Many times, the fish do not exhibit any symptom of this disease. Again, this disease is caused by dirty water in the aquarium. This water creates stress which will lead to this viral infection.
9. Shimmies – These are small worms which affect the skin of the fish. The fish look pale and there is a slimy coat on their body. Sometimes you can notice patches or reddish spots on the skin of the fish and they try to rub their body against a rough surface.
10. Anchor worms – This is a warm which looks like a thread coming from the skin of goldfish. These worms are long – up to half inch and look like eggs on the body of the fish.
Bad water is the cause of majority of the above diseases. If you clean your aquarium regularly, remove the waste and uneaten food, test the water levels of nitrate and nitrites, you can control their occurrence. You should also observe your fish regularly and carefully. If you find any irregularity, you should immediately contact your pet shop and talk to them about it. An early action can stop all future consequences.