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The Goldfish Gazette, Issue #084 Minor Injuries - When NOT to Treat
December 30, 2020

Goldfish Care Tips

A Free Monthly Resource For Goldfish Enthusiasts
December 2020
Issue #084

In This Issue
Minor injuries-when NOT to treat

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Goldfish kept in pristine water conditions can easily recover from minor injuries without the need for toxic chemicals.


Minor Injuries-When NOT to Treat

Ryukin with split in caudal fin

Apart from plain un-iodized salt, the majority of medications used for the treatment of Goldfish illnesses are toxins. Malachite Green and Methylene Blue are dyes for example, which is why salt is always my first response to any disease or injury crisis.

Bacterial and fungal pathogens are always present in any body of water that has been exposed to the atmosphere for any length of time.

It is the immune system of the Goldfish that resists any attack from these opportunistic pathogens.

If a Goldfish is injured, and the protective coating that covers the external surfaces of the fish is penetrated, these pathogens can attack a fish with a weak immune system.

If water quality is high, Goldfish can sustain quite severe injuries, and not succumb to bacterial or fungal attack.

Minor Injuries, No Medications Required

Minor injuries I wouldn’t treat with any medication, including salt, would include:

Split or torn fins - This does not include fins with a large number of splits which could indicate attack by a non-Goldfish species, congested fins disease or a dietary problem. These would be one or two clean splits along the length of the fin with no ragged edges.

Caudal (tail) fins can be torn across the veins leaving a chunk of fin missing. Although unsightly, it will grow back, but it can take some months.

If a section of fin is damaged and hanging off, it is better to use some sharp scissors to trim off the damaged part so the fin will grow back normally.

Missing Scales - A few scales being dislodged is common with Goldfish, especially with the fancy varieties as their body shape and large fins often makes swimming difficult. This is why the fancier the variety you are keeping, the less cluttered the aquarium setup should be.

Loss of scales is common during spawning, as well as split and torn fins.

Wen White Spots - I include this one because many posts on Facebook are about white spots appearing on Ranchu or Oranda wens, and what treatment is necessary.

The white spots appear to be dead cells that start to appear once a wen is close to being fully developed. Sections of the wen lose blood flow and appear to die off.

No treatment is necessary.

As Ranchu, Lionheads and Oranda get to about 5 years old, large sections of wen can be shed.

Very low salt treatments, no medications

Although Goldfish can sustain quite large injuries and survive without medication of any sort, for some injuries I still put my fish in a very mild salt bath (a teaspoon per gallon, 1 gram per liter) until I see evidence of the injury healing.

The types of injury I include here are:

• Spawning injuries where there are a number of scales missing and fins are torn or split
• A deflated Water Bubble Eye bubble
• Loss of an eye
• A collapsed telescopic eye
• Body injuries that involve skin damage.

I administer a salt bath because all these injuries involve fluid loss, and a small amount of salt in the water helps the fish retain electrolytes and is a boost to the immune system.

Fish with injuries, or any disease should always be kept in fresh pristine water. It is as much a part of the treatment as medications are because it also helps boost the fish’s immune system.

Medications Required

If a fish has sustained a serious injury and the body cavity has been punctured, or the fish is displaying obvious disease symptoms such as white spots, red patches, fungus or ragged fins, its immune system has been weakened and the fish needs help.

At this stage, without medication of some sort, recovery will be very slow at best, if at all.

Salt administered at 0.3% (one tablespoon per gallon, 3-4 grams per liter) will cure 90% of Goldfish illnesses, and prevent opportunistic pathogens attacking an injury.

P.S. Last year I wished everyone a happy new year.

We all know how that turned out!

So, this year I wish you, your family and Goldfish a much improved 2021, and let's hope the vaccines will end the COVID-19 spread.


Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think, or what topics you want covered.

Next Month's Topic

Identifying your variety

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