Goldfish with dark spots on body, body curved and can't get up from bottom

  • #1
My comet isn’t doing well, and I think it’s my fault. I made some really bad assumptions after doing the first few weeks of water testing with him in it that the nitrates were taken care of by the plants since I had no readings. For a while, I noticed a small red dot on his side. I assumed that the water was clean and it’ll heal up eventually, but I was worried. A week ago he started breathing heavily so I tested the water and it came up as 20-40ppm nitrates. Dad thinks that I may have broken the nitrate tests a while ago because he was getting really high readings too, but I didn’t want to not consider the readings. I did a big water change (around 50% or so) and he started breathing fine. Dad started to agree that this was a problem so he ordered medicated food. However, Watergate was very rapidly getting worse. He had few slightly darkened patches when I noticed a problem over a week ago, and now they’re getting worse. He’s eating (haven’t seen him eat but he poops healthily) but he is much less active now. He only stops bottom sitting when something disturbs him like water flowing in from a water change. Before he got sick enough to bottom sit, he would be weak enough to let the air bubbles from his air stones to push him around. Something that just popped up this morning is that his body is curved as well as him rarely being able to get up.
The medicine that he is on right now is API’s T.C. Tetracycline as an antibiotic. When we tried to find what was wrong, we both came to the conclusion that it was a kind of sore that was infected by bacteria, so Dad looked for antibiotics that he heard worked and gave it to Watergate.
I’m sad that this was probably completely preventable and also probably all my fault for not being as attentive as I should have been. However, I’d like a little help, as I am really really worried sick about Watergate. Did we diagnose it right? Are the treatments we decided to pursue alright? Is there something that we should be doing right now to help him?
Thank you in advance.

(from before his body bent)

  • #2
Welcome to Fishlore. I'm sorry that you had to come to us for this reason.

I can't diagnose anything for sure except for the red spot, which is broken blood vessels due to high nitrate readings, many water changes and clean water will help with recovery. I can't say anything else for sure, so I'll call in someone who I'm pretty sure has goldfish and can help. CindiL

Good luck
  • #3
I don't know the answer either, but I know we're going to need to know your water parameters. Please post your ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, and any other tests you know. Temperature could help, too. Also, please tell us the name of the test kit you use.
  • #4
Also, what is your tank size? Comets really shouldn't be in anything but a pond unless your tank is truly massive.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
The test kit is API, the large test kit. Ammonia -0ppm, Nitrite -0ppm, Nitrate - ~5.0ppm, possibly 10 because the difference is kinda small. Ph is 7.4 and temperature is currently 75 F but we don't have any heaters or chillers on his tank. Tank size is just 55 gallons. It's definitely not a permanent home by any means and I am looking at larger containers, but it's what my parents want me to use for now. He's 2-3 inches right now so I hope it's not hurting him to be in that until he gets a bit bigger.
Thank you for your responses.
  • #6
55 gallons is fine. The internet has a lot of opinions on tank size, but the absolute largest recommendation I've ever seen was 40 gallons per goldfish. Are there any other fish in the tank with him? Can you give us the parameters of your tap water? How often do you do water changes normally, and how much do you change?
  • #7
I think 55 gallons should be good. People say that they can grow up to several feet long, but that's not true.

"Comet goldfish housed in small aquariums will have stunted growth that will limit their size to four inches. In larger aquariums, they will reach about eight inches and up to twelve in a pond."

Otherwise, I'm sorry but I'd wait until other people can come in to help you, because I can't. I'm sorry.

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