Red Pest Disease Treatment For Goldfish

Red pest causes blood red spots or patches on the fish’s body.

Red pest disease causing blood red patches to appear on the body of a Goldfish.Red pest disease causing blood red patch

Red pest disease or pond pest as it is also known is caused by a bacterial infection (bacterium cyprinicida).

The disease causes blood red spots or patches to appear on the body of the Goldfish.  It should not be confused with an ulcer which has the appearance of a pink/red to white open sore on the body surrounded by a blood red or white edge.

This disease can be hard to detect on red or dark colored Goldfish such as Black Moor.  The only indication on these fish is an increase in body mucus and clamped fins.

Red Pest Disease Causes


There is only one cause for this disease, poor water conditions causing the fish to be weakened enough for the bacteria to take hold.

This disease doesn’t appear to be infectious to other fish; it seems to be an opportunist disease that attacks weakened fish.  It will still indicate that the water conditions aren’t good, and it will only be a matter of time before other fish will succumb to the conditions that are causing the outbreak.

Immediately make a 50% water change in the aquarium or pond, and check if the filter isn’t clogged.  Also check for anything dead that could be polluting the water.  Fish like to hide when they are sick and then die where they can't be easily seen.

If nothing obvious is found, check the pH and ammonia levels.  Any ammonia reading over zero indicates the biological filtration system has stopped working.

A low pH usually indicates high nitrates.

Treatment Options


This disease is one of the easier ones to treat.

Move the Goldfish into a sickbay containing fresh clean water and add four teaspoons of Aquarium salt per gallon.  Add two teaspoons per gallon immediately, and the rest gradually over 24 hours.

As this is an external bacterial infection, I also add any of the normal bacterial medications such as Methylene Blue.


Malachite Green, which is a synthetic dye, can also be used but isn't as safe as Methylene Blue.

Keep the fish in the sickbay until all traces of the disease are gone then slowly reduce the medication at each water change.  Feed live food and high quality gel or other foods to speed up the recovery time, which will also be dependent on water temperature.

The aquarium or pond will require a complete clean out before the fish is put back unless the biological filtration has been reestablished and ammonia readings are zero.

If a filter is not installed,a complete clean out of the aquarium or pond, not just a water change, will be necessary.

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