Goldfish random swollen scales

Boomfish

In recent months, one of the three goldfish we've kept for several years in a 55-gal tank has gradually developed a dozen or more swollen scales that look, for lack of a better descriptor, like hives. The other two fish are fine and water parameters seem fine.
History: Probably 3-4 months ago, I noticed a single scale that had become dome-shaped and had a hazy sheen to it. Over time, several other humped up scales slowly appeared randomly over his body. Once they appear, they don't appear to shrink or grow and never look red. There are no decorations or substrate in the tank and I've never seen him attempt to rub against the filter output or aerator, so the "hives" don't appear to bother him. They're randomly distributed over his body, never adjoining another swollen scale, and I don't perceive any other physiological or behavioural abnormalities in any of the three fish. This fish has a few scales that are lighter in color, and reflections and movement prevented me form capturing an image that illustrates the abnormal scales' raised profile, hazy coloration, and spacing. Apologies for the reflections and lighting.
What I've done: About ten days ago, I decided to gradually increase the tank temp (from 74 degrees to 80 degrees) and introduce aquarium salt to the tank (initially 1Tbsp/3 gals; increased to achieve 1Tbsp/1.5 gals after 5 days at the lower salinity). I don't perceive the salinity or temperature changes have resulted in any changes to the scales (or behaviour) of any of the fish. Does anyone have idea what might be going on and what, if anything, I should do about it?
 

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bcfishtanks

Huh, that's interesting.
If aquarium salt is going to do anything, I find that it takes a few weeks. I would keep doing that for now to see if anything happens. I wouldn't try any other treatment as of now.

If nothing happens, and the fish is continuing to act normally and eat, and neither of the other two fish develop the same thing, I'd leave it alone. Since you've had it so long, it could be an old age thing, like dogs developing harmless fatty cysts as they age. Maybe someone else can chime in here for more insight, though.
 
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Boomfish

Huh, that's interesting.
If aquarium salt is going to do anything, I find that it takes a few weeks. I would keep doing that for now to see if anything happens. I wouldn't try any other treatment as of now.

If nothing happens, and the fish is continuing to act normally and eat, and neither of the other two fish develop the same thing, I'd leave it alone. Since you've had it so long, it could be an old age thing, like dogs developing harmless fatty cysts as they age. Maybe someone else can chime in here for more insight, though.
********
Thanks bcsay720. I really appreciate your assistance figuring this out. Based on the symptoms I'm seeing right now, I agree with you it doesn't seem wise to rock the boat throwing meds at unidentified pathology. Assuming my 1Tbsp/1.5 gals salt concentration seems reasonable, I'll maintain that unless someone recognizes something to indicate otherwise.

Since my original post, I located a magnifying glass and observed him for about an hour (which would be easier if this were slowing him down, so I 'woke' him about 3am!) and while most of the affected spots look as if something slightly beneath the surface is causing a single scale to form isolated hazy or waxy looking domes as I described initially, a couple of them don't seem to be confined to the boundaries of a single scale. In those cases, it looks as if something on the surface (or within?) the structure of the scales were causing the waxy/hazy appearance.

I edited a 30-second video in slow-motion that shows the 3-dimensionality and points to the 2 spots that aren't confined to a single scale. Seeing him in motion helps visualize overall, but the file is too large for this forum's server to process. I've upload stills from the video instead.
 

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bcfishtanks

Yeah, those are good images that show what's going on. I'd definitely do some research into if fish can get cysts, because that is what it looks like. Also check into to see if any parasites can cause this. I know very little about parasites besides that they do strange and bad things.
 
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NevermindIgnoreMe

Sounds like carp pox to me. It's pretty much harmless, there isn't much you can do and as the fish learns to fight it off it on its own eventually, and it might just go away.

There a few things known to help it, which are actually what you've been doing. (Good job, and thank you for your fish for now chucking random meds in the tank.) Keeping the temperature room warm and warmer should be healthier for the fish's immune system, and adding salt at 0.3% is also known to be therapeutic as well. (0.3%=7tablespoons per ten gallons, just over how much you've been using.) Garlic feeding may help as well, it has antiviral and immune system boosting properties.
 
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Boomfish

OK. I haven't introduced anything new to the tank for years, but I'll keep looking and asking around.
 
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NevermindIgnoreMe

OK. I haven't introduced anything new to the tank for years, but I'll keep looking and asking around.
Carp pox is usually brought on by a temperature change which suppresses the fishes immune system, and is more common in pond fish exposed to fluctuating outdoor temperature. It is contagious, but it could come on after something stresses the fish, for example a large temperature fluctuation. Do you try to accurately match the temperature of the new water with the tank water during water changes? That would make sense if you unknowingly/accidentally did something like that, or if it's a tank near say a door or window that was open during winter/fall.I
Edit: I also want to say I love the nice red coloring on your fish, he looks really nice. Also, you might want to look up a picture of carp pox, because it looks just like what he has.
 
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Boomfish

Thanks so much, NevermindIgnoreMe. I'm fortunate in that this room passively keeps the tank at 74 degrees year round and I am careful to match the water temp when doing changes. I put a heater in the tank a couple weeks ago in order to inch it up to 80 degrees to try to help him fight off whatever this is.

Carp pox is one of the possibilities I've considered as well. Most photos posted online are so terrible it's hard to compare. There appear to be several strains of carp pox, and/or manifestations, making diagnosis all the more difficult. Very few of the images I've seen online resemble Sprinkles' 'hives'. Most images purporting to depict carp pox are irregular, many are cauliflower-like, descriptions often emphasize their prevalence on the fins and on/near the head. Sprinkles' has never had any on his fins (they remain gorgeous), and only recently got any near his head (though I'm watching an area that may be forming another spot). I have seen a couple images of spots that are very similar to his, but I don't think any I've found online depicted spots that appear limited to individual scales as most of his are. So some kind of carp pox may well be what this is. If so, I don't know of anything more I can do for him beyond keeping their tank water clean, warm, and salinity at 0.3%.

It's helpful that your observations are consistent with some of the images I've found associated with carp pox. It's also helpful to find a community that's more experienced and generous enough to educate me. I'd hate to deprive Mr. Sprinkles of a cure because I wasn't resourceful enough to educate myself. I won't make things worse throwing meds in willy nilly, but maybe I'll check YouTube for goldfish yoga classes - someone's bound to offer those for stressed out fish, right?!!
 
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NevermindIgnoreMe

Thanks so much, NevermindIgnoreMe. I'm fortunate in that this room passively keeps the tank at 74 degrees year round and I am careful to match the water temp when doing changes. I put a heater in the tank a couple weeks ago in order to inch it up to 80 degrees to try to help him fight off whatever this is.

Carp pox is one of the possibilities I've considered as well. Most photos posted online are so terrible it's hard to compare. There appear to be several strains of carp pox, and/or manifestations, making diagnosis all the more difficult. Very few of the images I've seen online resemble Sprinkles' 'hives'. Most images purporting to depict carp pox are irregular, many are cauliflower-like, descriptions often emphasize their prevalence on the fins and on/near the head. Sprinkles' has never had any on his fins (they remain gorgeous), and only recently got any near his head (though I'm watching an area that may be forming another spot). I have seen a couple images of spots that are very similar to his, but I don't think any I've found online depicted spots that appear limited to individual scales as most of his are. So some kind of carp pox may well be what this is. If so, I don't know of anything more I can do for him beyond keeping their tank water clean, warm, and salinity at 0.3%.

It's helpful that your observations are consistent with some of the images I've found associated with carp pox. It's also helpful to find a community that's more experienced and generous enough to educate me. I'd hate to deprive Mr. Sprinkles of a cure because I wasn't resourceful enough to educate myself. I won't make things worse throwing meds in willy nilly, but maybe I'll check YouTube for goldfish yoga classes - someone's bound to offer those for stressed out fish, right?!!
You're welcome. I'm glad you take such good care of your fish.

My browsers photos almost all look just like what he has on the pictures. Yes, it generally is more present on the fins, but it can still be on the body. I'm surprised your fish has gotten it, in a steady warm temperature. Carp pox is so frustrating. Not much you can do to prevent it, not much you can do to make it go away.

As for immune boosting things, keep up what you're doing, as I said, feeding raw garlic may help a bit as well. Best of luck!
 
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