Pink gills on goldfish Important

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by goldscales, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. goldscales

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    Today we bought another goldfish for our tank, but I'm kind of worried that there's a problem with it.
    It's a speckled black, orange and white goldfish and it appears to have pink gills. There's no visible swelling and he/she is really active. There is no rubbing against decorations or plants or anything like that.
    The goldfish is breathing faster than the others, but other than the breathing and pink gills, there are no other symptoms.
    I was thinking that maybe it was gill flukes or something but the goldfish isnt lethargic at all. Maybe he/she just recently got the parasite?
    Then again it might be normal coloration, although i've never really seen speckle goldfish with pink gills.
    The goldfish occasionally wobbles slightly when it swims, so idk if thats a symptom of anything?
    Please help! I want to catch the parasite (if there is one) in it's early stages, before it spreads and affects all the fish.
    I know i should have quarantined first, but i really dont have the space or money to get a hospital tank.
    It would be awesome if I could get some advice soon!
    Thanks :)
  2. celizabethh3

    celizabethh3Valued MemberMember

    Is there any way you could post pictures?

    I think poeticinjustices will be able to weigh in on this topic. :)

    Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  3. Crissandra331

    Crissandra331Valued MemberMember

    Almost a year ago I bought a group of dime sized Angels, Didn't realized till almost an hour later when I was getting home to acclimate that the one White Angel's gill was almost completely rotted out. It was raw, red, it looked like it hurt. I kept the water very very clean, and usually I'm really understocked, not too long after changing her to more favorable conditions her health improved, her gill healed, and shes now a much happier fish. I think that the ammonia level was just out of control in the dealers tank and they had an outrageous amount of Angels in there. As for parasite none were present so a better environment helped, hopefully thats the case with your as well :)

  4. OP

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    I'll try to post some from my phone.

  5. OP

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    I hope my goldfish can get better as easily as that!
    Out of curiousity, I tested some water from the store that was left in the bag. It read 0 ammo and 0 nitrite. It's probably not ammonia problems, since the water was clearly cycled. This is my first case with gill infections/parasites so I have no idea what to do.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer :)
  6. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Hmm well I appreciate the mention and I will surely do my best but diseases are kind of a new area for me :) Forgive me for having a lot of questions haha but answering them might also help others help you as well.

    When you say the gills are pink - do you mean when you look behind/underneath the gill covers or you can actually see pink through them? Were the gills like this when you got him? How did you acclimate him to your tank and what are the parameters? Tank size, inhabitants, cycling.

    Generally speaking, healthy gills are supposed to be a nice, fleshy, healthy sort of pink. What they are not supposed to be is red, swollen, brown, white, black or any other color. That's a bad sign, that much I know. Gill plates themselves can be many colors - my oranda's gill plates are translucent, making them appear faintly pinkish because I can see his gills underneath. Searching online, the most common explanations for red gills I found are gill flukes and toxicosis from bad water quality or oxygen deprivation. If you bought him at a pet store, ammonia is probably your best bet and clean water will do much of the work. Do the gills look cloppy? Here are some link I have found helpful.
    Good picture of healthy gills here as well as some other abnormalities

    Either way until there's a photo or, better yet, a video of him, it's hard for me to say :\ I hope someone else can be more specific for you. A video of the wobble and the gills/breathing would be helpful.

    That said - there are some great articles on here about setting up quick and dirty QTs. You do not necessarily need a tank nor does it need to be cycled esp if you use medications that will just destroy it anyway.

    I know there's also a specific one for actually setting up a makeshift QT, but I cannot seem to find it. Anyone else know where it is?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  7. OP

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    This is really helpful! I'll answer your questions in order.

    I can see the pink through the gills. Like when you look at goldfish, the gills are all pink and they stand out. However, the pink gill is only on one side. The other side is a really light pink. The head is white, btw. The fish doesn't move it's gills wide enough for me to see anything underneath.

    I got this fish yesterday, and for some reason, I didn't really see the pink gills as he swam around in the pet store tank. (I wouldn't have bought the goldfish if I saw it had bright pink gills) But I probably just wasn't observant enough.

    To acclimate the goldfish, I floated the bag in the tank for about 20 minutes, and then opened and clipped it to the side of the aquarium. Every few minutes, I would remove a cup of the pet store water from the bag and add a cup of tank water. After 10 minutes or so, I gently released the fish and poured the water from the bag down the drain.
    There are two other 2 inch goldfish in the tank. It's a 20 gallon. They will be moved to a 70 gallon when they get bigger. Right now, they seem fine with the tank. There is no sign of disease or fin rot.

    Tank parameters are:
    0 ppm ammonia
    0ppm nitrite
    20ppm nitrate
    7.4 pH

    This morning, the fish was darting around the tank. Compared to the other goldfish, it's really thin and the body shape is longer. But, it has two caudal fins, two anal, and two pelvic so it's not a shubunkin. I'm not sure if it's just thin because it didn't get enough to eat, or if that is it's natural shape.

    I'm still not 100% certain that the pink gills are normal, so I'll try and post a picture.

    Thank you so much for helping me out!
  8. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Well you'd have to post a photo to really ID him, but here are some goldfish types to get you started.


    It sounds like maybe ammonia. I think if it were gill flukes you would be seeing other signs of irritation. However, I would definitely try to get a look at the gills. They should be moving and I've noticed that my goldie's gills open up more while eating. It's a good time to get a look at the inside of the gills. Sometimes just necessitates a little neck craning lol. If the gills aren't moving, then maybe gill flukes is a possibility? They make the gills cloppy, discolored and mucusy and I'd guess that could make the filaments stick together. I'm just kind of pulling ideas from my reading here.


    It doesn't really sound like he's too miserable though and I have to wonder if it's not just ammonia or from over-stocked pet store tanks, at least the darker gill?

    Haha photos = good.

    Still, just so you know, PraziPro is a good medication for parasites - gill flukes included. I've read of many members here who incorporate this medication as a prophylactic treatment for gill flukes into their QT process (I believe Rivieraneo does this - and he can probably help you with this issue overall as well) and it's recently become a part of mine. I vaguely recall them being more common in warmer months.

    Doing some searches here on gill flukes and ammonia/red gills might also help you identify the reason for the one, bright pink gill.
  9. OP

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    I'm starting to think that the gill is just transparent. I finally got a clear picture :D

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  10. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    I have to say that's quite a bit redder than what I meant by seeing the gills through transparent plates, although he does appear to have white/translucent gills plates and I have heard of "blushing" fish, but it's a specific fish, not goldfish usually. On my oranda, it's a very faint pink, though he is just one goldfish. I just googled some photos of ammonia burns on gills and it can lok quite similar. BUT...check out this thread. The ultimate consensus was that it was natural and, if it's not, it's likely ammonia from the pet store and will heal with clean water so long as the fish appears otherwise healthy.


    I might boost up the diet a little. Do you use VitaChem or Garlic Guard?

    If it were me and the fish was not showing any other signs of illness, I'd keep the water clean and the diet good and a close eye for other signs, check to make sure the gills are moving properly and try to get a look inside them when he eats. I know I'm kind of flip flopping. Even if it's not natural, the best treatment begins with clean water and good diet. That's the most basic and fundamental lesson I've learned here.

    Here's another thread that might help.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  11. OP

    goldscalesValued MemberMember

    Awesome! I feed my fish Omega one pellets, de shelled peas and occasional bloodworms. Maybe I can get VitaChem this weekend.

    Thank you so much for all your help! I really appreciate you taking your time to help my fish :)

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