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D asked in PetsFish · 10 years ago

Goldfish with missing scales?

I have several goldfish in my 55 gallon tank varying in age and size as well as type. They are all eating fine and seem healthy. It has been set up for about a month. Recently I have noticed that the majority of them have scales missing and I am unsure if this is cause for concern. I recently added an 11.5 inch plecostomus to the tank and have heard that this fish sometimes can prey on goldfish if it is hungry. I feed him algae bites and also cucumber and lettuce and he doesn't feed often from what I can see. I do not think that he is going after the fish and don't know what else could be causing the goldfish to be missing scales. Does anyone know what might be wrong with them?

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favourite answer

    First of all, three cheers for you! It sounds like someone has set up a goldfish tank that would be a good home for five or so adult goldfish!

    Do try harder to do more partial water changes, gravel vacuuming some of the tank bottom. (Yeah, easy for me to say.) A month is not a long time to have an aquarium set up. If you can monitor the water by testing for ammonia (which should be zero PPM), nitrites (which should be zero) and nitrates (which shouldn't be more that 10 or 20 PPM) don't feed the fish as much for a bit. In addition to that, put in new, rinsed activated, carbon in your filter. (Leave the floss slightly gray so that there is still some beneficial bacteria there.) If you still have ammonia in the tank and you can afford an expensive ammonia absorber like Polyfilter, try that.

    Probably this isn't for you but sometimes aquarists think that once a Nitrogen cycle is established, they are set. But it something we (me too) need to work top keep healthy and effective always.

    No effective nitrogen cycle, no effective fishes.

    Your pleco is a huge source of fish waste. Like the temperate water goldfish, they eat a lot of vegetable material and pass a lot of waste material. And he may double his size!

    The scale loss may be caused by him (and dirty water encourages some aggressive behavior) but if there is some of that very toxic ammonia in the water, I would put my money on that and bacterial blooms.

    Plecos need warmer water than goldfish really need. And keeping the tank at a pleco temperature causes the metabolism of all those fishes to accelerate and that means more fish waste in the water.

    Could the pleco be given a vacation elsewhere so that you could see if that made a difference?

    A "mystery disease" hit a rainbowfish tank I had. I had no clue what the disease was but knew that I had neglected recent partial water changes. I was lucky enough to have a food-quality 55-gallon drum (one of those blue ones) seated on some styrofoam (old fish boxes never die....) and kept at room temperature with a powerful submersible heater. The water was treated and aged.

    I was fortunate to be able to give that tank daily 30% - 40% - 40% - 50% and 50% water changes. The daily death stopped. The obviously sick looked a lot better. Within a week they were leaving eggs (always a good sign). After the regularly schedule partial water change a week later, one could find fry in the corners (another good sign).

    If I had waited to get an ID on that malady, the rainbow fish probably would have been all lost. If I had treated for an unknown disease, those fish probably would have died anyway.

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  • 10 years ago

    I have never seen a pleco attack another fish, and I have tons of them ranging from half inch to 8 inch. More than likely they scraped themselves if you have a lot of decor in the tank or overcrowded

    First, just give the take some stress coat to help out your gold fish and help them heal and If your convinced its the pleco, maybe not clean the tank so often to promote algae growth or buy some Live plants and use a plant bulb. Goldfish are nasty and poo tons so To decrease the time you need to clean it get some sort of bottom feeder like a catfish or an awesome bottom feeder would be the Featherfin Synodontis <(they swim upside down for fun)


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  • 10 years ago

    Try feeding him other things and maybe clean the tank.

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