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Older goldfish losing scales

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicknmania, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    Hello, we have a goldfish approximately twelve years old, who I noticed is losing some scales on her sides.. I posted about a month ago about one of her tank mates who died, he was also approximately 12 years old and we've had both since they were small. We don't know why the other goldfish died, but testing the water the ammonia level is zero and the water quality otherwise seems to be ok. The general consensus on here when the other goldfish died was that maybe he just died of old age.

    Two days ago, our Dojo loach died, who was another tank mate. I'm pretty sure he DID die of old age, as he exceeded the average life span for those..he was over 11 years old.

    This leaves our goldfish by herself except for a sucker mouth catfish who is no company at all. She (the goldfish) seems to be ok, but I have seen her lying on the tank bottom a couple of times in the past few weeks,and there is the scale loss thing, which is noticeable, although she's lost a few scales in years past and it never seemed to get any worse. She eats well and today I gave her a couple of frozen peas, which she likes, and she polished those off. I've read that losing scales may be caused by stress, and I'm assuming she could be stressed by the loss of her tank mates, especially since she is partially blind and was using the other goldfish as a guide a lot of times, and she's been with the other two fish her whole life...the past 11 or 12 years. Now she has no companions at all. I don't know if that is her only problem....possibly not...but I'm wondering if we should try to introduce some new (small) goldfish in the tank, as possible new companions for her. That might be a stressor too, but I'm not sure which is worse...just curious what others think.
     
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  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    It’s been sooo long since I diagnosed fish problems... let’s see, other things to look for...

    Are the scales discolored at all? Fuzzy? Slimy? (Fish can get fungi)

    Are the scales raised up/sticking out? (Fish can get parasites under their scales the same way chickens get scaly leg mites, also internal issues that cause bloating can cause raised scales)

    Is the fish constantly opening and closing it’s mouth (like other animals pant)? This is a sign of distress and an indication that it is not well.
     
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  3. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    Oh, I'm sad for her! How large is this fish? I had 4 goldfish in a horse tank years ago, and one in particular struck up a friendship with one of the three horses. They would "kiss" at the water's surface. I'm sorry your girl is lonely... I hope you find answers about the scales.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    No, no, and no. :confused: She doesn't show any of those symptoms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    Thank you. :) She was the smallest of the three...she's about five inches long nose to tail. There's a picture of her...and all of them..in another fish thread on here somewhere..but I can't find it..it was from a long time ago. That's cool that your fish and horse were friends; I've heard other stories like that. Moby, my very big goldfish that died a month ago, would eat out of my hand and was very friendly.
     
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  6. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    Cool! I'll call some help... Can you possibly get a larger fish? She may eat super small ones @Fishkeeper
     
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  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    Actually, what am I saying, she's more like seven or eight inches long, lol. She's a fancy goldfish and has a long flowy tail and pretty big around, also. I'm thinking maybe medium sized friends, yeah.
     
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  8. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    that sounds great!
     
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  9. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

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    How big is the tank?
    What are the water parameters? Not just "fine", the actual parameters, including pH if possible.
    Last water change? Is it possible the water didn't get dechlorinated?
    What do you feed?
    What kind of sucker mouth fish is it? Some will go after scales when they're starving.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    The water does not need dechlorinated, it is well water, and has no chlorine.
    The last water change was about two weeks ago, about 25 - 30 per cent. I try to do a partial water change every week; usually I'm not as good with that as I'd like to be, but on an average, every two weeks, anyway.

    We feed goldfish crisps , sometimes goldfish flakes, or sinking fresh water bottom feeder food, because the remaining goldfish is partially blind and can't find floating food easily, and the loach preferred the sinking food. The food that normally floats, we soak so that it will sink and the goldfish can find it. Occasionally we feed frozen fresh water fish food cubes, or frozen peas. They occasionally got grazing strips or soft lettuce leaves to graze on.

    I don't remember the last parameters as the entire water test was done weeks ago and we don't have any more of the complete test kit. I do have an ammonia test kit that uses the drops (not the strips). I tested the water yesterday with that and the ammonia level was zero. I can tell you that our water nitrate levels have historically been higher than would be ideal, which was the case last time we tested it.We live in a farm community and that's just the way it is here. We have never done much to try to alter the nitrate levels because they haven't really fluctuated much over the years we've had the fish, and I read a long time ago that trying to drastically change the nitrate levels is not a good idea. I'm assuming that the fish were used to the nitrate level in our water as they have never...ever.. showed any ill symptoms of anything before now...unless for some reason the nitrate levels would have drastically changed, but I don't know why that would be.

    We have some hard fixtures in the tank that I suppose she might have rubbed against...we kept some in the tank mostly for our loach, who liked to play and hide in them. But the tank is not exactly crowded with fixtures, I don't put more than two in at a time, plus some artificial plants...and it is a 55 gallon tank.

    I don't even know what kind of sucker mouth catfish it is. It's very reclusive and we don't usually see it at all, except at night sometimes. I don't THINK it would be starving, but I don't know how i would tell?. We got it to control the algae on the tank, which it seems to do, and I'm pretty sure it cleans up whatever leftover food it can find. It's not very big.

    Tonight I did notice her ( the goldfish) gasping a couple of times when she was lying on the bottom, then she shook herself and began to swim normally again. Thinking back, I've seen her do that a couple of other times over the past few weeks.

    Thank you for the information on goldfish life spans. I'm assuming that we must have done something right, because as I said, our Dojo Loach exceeded it's average life span by at least a year, and our goldfish we got together and they were/ are both 12, going on 13 years old. So maybe they all just reached the end of their natural lives at around the same time, and perhaps stress of losing their tank mates speeded up the the decline of the others? If I can get to the fish store tomorrow I will try to get another complete test kit, although I'm kind of reluctant to under the circumstances, unless or until we are going to get more fish. I'm going to do another partial water change too, and change one or both filters.

    Lastly I read somewhere that sometimes a bacterial infection can cause scale loss. I could get an antibiotic for the tank, but I'm not crazy about using it unless I'm sure that's the problem....?

    So assuming the water tests okwith the complete test kit, is it a good idea to introduce new fish, or would that do more harm than good for our old goldfish?
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.

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