Sick Goldfish – The Importance of Early Diagnosis

sick goldfish treatment starts with clean water
A dirty tank produces toxins that cause infections in goldfish

Regularly monitoring goldfish is the best way to diagnose early signs of an illness. It’s easier then to notice changes in behavior and eating habits that are sure signs of a problem.

Understanding these signs is important so you can start treatment as soon as possible.

Keep the fish tank clean and the temperature regulated. This is one way to help prevent disease. It’s easier to prevent an illness than to actually treat it.


Note:  A sick goldfish may get black spots when the infection begins to heal.

3 causes of sick goldfish and how to recognise them

1. Overfeeding

Swim bladder problems cause a goldfish to float to the top of the tank. The problem is generally caused by overfeeding. It can be genetic, but diet is usually the culprit. It might be necessary to move the fish to a separate tank and reduce feeding to remedy the problem.

2. Bacterial or Parasite infection

A fish staying at the bottom of the tank is a serious indication of a sick goldfish.

Hugging the bottom of the tank is a sign that the goldfish may be close to death. The reason could be a bacterial infection or parasites.


Cleaning the water in the tank might help, but generally, when the goldfish are so sick they’re gravitating to the bottom of the tank, it may be too late.


It’s recommended that you try adding a small amount of salt to the tank. This kills the parasites.


Although there’s a chance that you may still not be able to save the goldfish.

3. White Spots or fish trying to scratch on the side of the tank or gravel

Ich is a disease that causes sick goldfish. It’s noticeable to fish owners because of the white spots all over the goldfish. The white spots are parasites and can spread quite rapidly. Owners may also notice cloudy eyes and breathing issues in the goldfish.


Malachite green treatment can help with this disease.


Ich is usually caused from stress due to poor water conditions and temperatures and must be treated with medication. The tank needs to be treated for over a week to ensure all the parasites are killed.

Although it may be difficult to determine the exact cause of the illness, depending on the symptoms, it’s possible that minor changes to the environment will make a world of difference for your fish.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.