Ongoing sore on my goldfish's tail

freckles1024

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I've noticed that my comet has this small ulcer type sore that's on the edge of his tail fin. He's had it for about a year, just a white spot with the occasional "flareup" when it gets a little red. Recently it looks like it's starting to get worse, and I'm starting to get worried since it's not going away, and I can't find anything about it to begin how to fix it. Other than salt/fresh water for fin rot and ich for another fish, I've never had to medicate before, and I don't want to just jump into it. The only changes I've done was a switch to sand substrate from gravel about a week ago, and we moved last July, but looking back at past pictures he had it before then. Water parameters are fine, it's a 40 gallon tank has been cycled for about a year and a half (had the tank for over 2 years, planning to upgrade to a bigger one in a couple months). 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ~10 nitrate. Weekly water changes alternating between 30%/50% with prime.
0223201959a.jpg0223202000e.jpg
 

vyrille

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Hi, you mentioned a red spot on the tail. I think I do see it on the first picture, but the zoomed-in second picture does not show it? I wanted to make sure we're seeing the same lesion.
 
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freckles1024

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So sorry, he's difficult to get pictures of sometimes. I tried to darken it a little to contrast it better. The lesion itself is on the bottom right side of his tail fin, but you can see it on the other side as well. The spot is raised, which it wasn't before.

0223201959.jpg0223201959a.jpg
 

vyrille

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Okay, to clarify, you mean this:
IMG_20200224_172645.JPG

And not this:
IMG_20200224_172659.JPG

Is that right?
 

vyrille

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freckles1024 said:
Yep that's right!
Okay, cool. I just figured the other picture reminded me of variant septicaemia, commonly called "red pest". That's natural coloring, I assume?

The ulcer seems like it originates from bent fin rays. Do you handle/net this fish often? The top half of the caudal fins show similar lesions, but all healed up and relatively white.
 
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freckles1024

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It's his natural coloring, I think it's just a shadow from the plant he was next to.

I don't net him that often, maybe a few time a year. Recently was only when I changed substrate and when I put him in a quarantine after he hurt himself getting stuck in a decoration about two months ago. A few blood streaks in his fins and a a patch of missing scales on his side when he got scraped up, but those healed pretty quickly.

I have noticed he has been bottom sitting more ever since we moved from our apartment to a house 8 months ago. Same tank. I'm always testing his water/keeping up with my water changes to keep his nitrates low, so it doesn't seem to be a water quality issue, but I'm not sure. He's had the ulcer before we moved.
 

vyrille

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It's peculiar, as ulcers don't usually develop on fins - there's very scant 'flesh' on there to inflame and ulcerate into. You mentioned it's getting 'worse'. How do you mean? Is it enlarging? Getting more red? Spreading? I have suspicion that it's a previous injury that hasn't truly healed, possibly from constant friction or constant bending on that part of the fin. Is that the only spot you find this lesion?
 
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freckles1024

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It has not spread to other places, but it's gotten a bit bigger and it's now sticking out. It used to be flat against the fin. In the past it has gotten "better", where the redness goes away, but the white part has never healed. I started doing a little bit bigger water changes when I started to notice it getting worse a few weeks ago. I also noticed the small vein that runs down his fin at that spot turning more visible when the lesion got worse.
 

vyrille

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You may attempt surgical removal provided you have the means. It seems to me point of inflammation, especially when you mention the blood vessel. Without a biopsy though I can only guess. It could potentially be a focus of infection in the future if it doesn't heal properly; conversely, it can stay as is, or even resolve. For now I would suggest keep observing for the next few weeks. If it becomes visibly worse and the fish starts exhibiting unusual behaviour, seriously consider excision/trimming the fin, along with a dose of antibiotic (depending on the status of the fish, it can either be orally administered broad spectrum like ciprofloxacin/cotrimoxazole or topical antiseptics like stabilised povidone iodine). Otherwise, I would let it be, and continue your maintenance regimen.
 

goldfishbeginner

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I have a comet too and I find his tail is easily irritated. I assume hes sensitive to nitrates. Nitrates have tended to get a little high in my tank in the past. My other common tail goldfish seem much more resiliant to rising nitrate levels. The other thing is any plastic plants or tank decorations that you suspect its tail maybe rubbing against. Lately, I use a faux silk type aqarium plant that's pretty soft.


Anyway, my solution is a paraguard dip. I do a 1 hour dip at the dose recommended in the instructions . Lately, a couple of my kther fish has some mild sores on their bodies so I may dip a few of them as well. . Then, ill just do whatever I can to keep the nitrates low. I have pothos growing but may add more. I'm also, considering rigging up a algae turf scrubber. But, really just good tank husbandry and water changes will help the nitrates significantly, which in turn should help prevent further issues down the road. Pristine water is good for fish.
 

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