GoldFish Diseases and Ailments

The Types of Goldfish Ailments & Diseases

What are the different types of goldfish diseases? First of all let us look at the definition of the word diseases: an impairment of the normal state of living animal or plant or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the  organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors

The goldfish is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes. It was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish.

A goldfish can get sick if his tank is dirty, the water and oxygen levels are too low and the temperatures are too warm or too cool and if he is not being fed properly. Sometimes goldfish might get sick for reasons unknown. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to help Goldie fight the urge to float upside-down.  goldfish diseases

One very common and deadly disease associated with goldfish is Ichtyopthirius which is generally known as Ich. This disease appears in the form of tiny little white spots in the skin and fin of the goldfish. If treatment is not render in the initial stages, this disease can turn deadly. Ich is actually parasite which feeds on the body of the fish. Many small animals and fish are susceptible to diseases and once infected, have greatly shortened life spans.

There are many diseases that are to be treated in the goldfish system before its get the deadly point. Below are different types of goldfish diseases with explanations:

Skin Flukes are tiny worms that reside in the gill area of fish, consuming the skin cells and causing the fish to itch. Fish have tendency to rub up against hard objects in attempts to relieve the itching, resulting in red and swollen gill areas. Relief and a cure can be found at pet stores.

Anchor Worm is a contagious parasite that attaches itself to the sides, head or mouth of the fish and is contracted by ingestion of infection live food. The worm looks like a piece a green, brown or white thread dangling from the goldfish and can cause sore blood spots once it has entered into the flesh. Medicines are available for curing this disease.

Ich is the most common parasite that attacks fish with lowered immune systems. Introduction your fish to a new environment is enough to weaken immune systems and thus is a frequent cause of Itch in fish. Little white bumps will appear all over an infected fish, causing him to itch and gasp for air. Medication is readily available at pet stores and should be administered as soon as possible. 

Tail or Fin Rot is a disease that causes damage and fraying to the fish’s tail and fins, and is normally brought on by poor water conditions and high levels of ammonia and nitrites. Medications can be purchased at your local store.

Another common goldfish disease is fin rot. This disease is a bacterial infection and generally takes place in a particular injured portion of a fin.

There are some goldfish who naturally posses big bulging eyes. However, there is goldfish disease which is known as Popeye. It can happen to goldfish as well as to other species of fish in the aquarium.

There are profusely different diseases, parasites and fungal infections out there just waiting to attack the poor defenseless goldfish.

List of Common Goldfish Diseases

Below are the lists of common goldfish diseases:

Anchor Worm

Clowdy Eye


Cotton Wool




Hole in The Head



Swim Bladder Disorder





Types of stress can activate certain goldfish disease:

Toxicity Stress – is a direct result of tank overcrowding and poor water quality.

Behavioral Stress – factors include bullying by faster-swimming single-tail fish varieties, noise pollution, too much light, lack of space.

Hypoxia Stress – is oxygen depletion. Just as we need oxygen for respiration, so do fish.

Temperature Stress – “thermal shock” can happen to fish when fish keepers want to do a water change. Don’t introduce water that is different in temperature than the original.

Below are 3 common goldfish diseases with their typical causes and cures: 


Ichtyopthirius (Ich)

Cause: This is a freshwater fish disease that is caused by flesh-eating parasites that will consume the fish until it dies (normally due to infection from open wounds).

Cure: You’ll need to treat the tank with Ich medicine and quarantine the most badly affected fish. The process can take up to three days to complete and Ich is the most deadly of all goldfish diseases, while being the hardest to cure as well.

Tail Rot

Cause: There are many causes and tail rot is somewhat hard to diagnose. It may be causes by bacterial or parasitic infection, poor water quality, oxygen starvation, or as a result of overcrowding in the tank. In many cases fish will bite each other and their fins will become infected.

Cure: Antibiotics, sodium, or other treatments for tail/fin rot should be used. Medication will only stave off the problem temporarily though, since you have find the source of the initial problem I.e., overcrowding, stress, low oxygen levels, etc.


Cause: This is one of the most deadly goldfish diseases and while there is medications for it, often times the fish will normally die once symptoms are visible. This problem is also cause by a bacterial or parasitic infection, but starts from the inside of the fish and causes their belly to severely bloat outward.

Cure: You can buy medications to try and cure dropsy, but whatever you do, separate them from the rest of your fish if you have any. The best cure is to keep your aquarium clean and bacteria free.