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NEED HELP ASAP Goldfish with red veins in their tails and super lathargic


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Just just a large water change just like any other day and my goldfish are just sitting on the bottom not moving much and gasping. I noticed their tails have red veins appearing. I love these fish, i just did a water change and have no idea why this would disrupt anything. Any help is appreciated asap. 

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On 4/1/2023 at 1:02 PM, Pencapchew95 said:

pH : 7.2

ammonia : between 0ppm - 0.25ppm 

nitrite : 0ppm

nitrates : between 0- 5.0 ppm 

I was thinking maybe it was temperature shock as i had a little trouble regulating the temp this time. Everything seemed to go just as it always does though. 

What is the temp?

Considering you're seeing slight ammonia, aquarium salt might be a good first step.  What items do you have for any potential issues? 

I don't think what you're seeing is too concerning and will likely clear up on it's own.  It could've just bumped into something or gotten spooked resulting in the stress indications.  Red fin rays and red blotches could be the start of fin rot or Aeromonas hydrophilia, but right now all I would do is add salt and monitor.  Botanicals would also be beneficial if the fish were stressed. 

The salt does a few things, but it helps with the ammonia burn as well as recovery.  I would opt for a light dose.  1/4 cup per 10G.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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Any chance you forgot to add dechlorinator?  Or your water company did a shock dose of chlorine or chloramine?  If there’s any chance of either, re-dose with Prime if you have it or one of the other dechlorinators that also binds ammonia (most do).  Adding another dose of dechlorinator won’t hurt anything and might help a lot.

For sure get one or 2 extra airstones going anytime you see gasping and lethargy.  Goldfish definitely like some salt in the water so you can go right up to 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons right away (or @nabokovfan87’s dose of 1/4 cup per 10 gallons).  This helps with osmoregulation and with ammonia as mentioned.

If you have IAL leaves they certainly won’t hurt and might help, so @Colu is on track with that.

What is the temp in the tank normally and what was the temp of the water added?  What’s the temp currently?  Any other fish in the tank besides goldfish?  What size tank, how big are the goldfish, and how many goldfish?  What kind of filtration is on/in the tank?

I know it’s a lot of questions but sometimes finding the answer is about asking the right question.

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Based on what you told us, it's gotta be the water change.  That's the change you brought to your environment.


I would do another water change, as contrary as that may sound.  Like OD just mentioned, you might have forgotten to de-chlorinate.  If you use buckets for your water change, could someone have used the buckets and filled them with soap or some other contaminant?  And hard to argue with the notions of adding salt or more oxygenation.


It's not been at least 7 hours since you posted this.  Have you noticed a change from what you first reported?

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