The most effective way to keep goldfish healthy is to ensure a clean and hospitable environment for their living. Simple measures like a clean and hygienic habitat can minimize the risk of diseases almost to the extent of making it void. Nevertheless, it is always recommendable to have elementary knowledge about various diseases that affect goldfish, their symptoms, and causes, in order to seek instant remedies for the same. Given below are some of the common diseases.
Fin Rot: An unhealthy and hostile environment is a major cause for this disease. Fish too face a problem of 'stressful' living conditions, mainly due to unclean or infrequent cleaning of water, restricted oxygen supply, unfamiliar environment, overcrowding, or frequent shifting and handling. This disease is mainly caused by a bacterial or fungal infection or a combination of both. The fins appear ragged, worn-out, and develop a white, hazy look near the edges. The tissues can be cured completely, but the disease should not be allowed to spread to the main body. Applying malachite green on the fin tips with a Q-tip a number of times can cure it. However, it should be detected early, before the body is affected.
Ick or Ich: It is characterized by white spots on the body of the fish. These are caused by a parasitic organism that digs into the body if left unattended. The parasite falls off the body once it grows into cysts which produces many such parasites, which can infect the whole tank. These usually thrive in slightly-below-normal temperatures. Maintaining the temperature of the aquarium water to around 28-30 degree Celsius and adding 7-8 teaspoons of aquarium salt per gallon is a good way to get rid of goldfish ick. Another bigger version of this disease is a fungal infection known as Saprolegnia.
Constipation: Too much of processed food may result in constipation in your goldfish, just as humans are affected by it. Abnormal swelling of the fish or long trailing feces are a common symptom of this disease. Including a varied and natural diet is the best way to avoid and cure it.
Bladder Disease: If a goldfish is found floating on the top or sunk to the bottom, there are buoyancy issues with it. This is normally called swim bladder disease, which is characterized by the formation of a gas-filled 'bag' like structure in the dorsal part of the fish. The best way to treat this problem is to avoid feeding the fish for a few days. Once you resume feeding, the diet should mainly consist of peas or green leafy vegetables like spinach or lettuce. Even soaked fish pellets and flakes are good with the only precaution that no over feeding takes place.
HITH Disease: HITH or hole-in-the-head is an 'ugly' disease leading to severe infection in the fish. It is caused by a bacterium called Hexamita, and as the name suggests, there are holes in the head and the nasal area of the fish. It can get really ugly if not taken care of in time. Common measures like cleaning the water of the tank regularly, using a slightly higher temperature, and immediately reducing overcrowding of the fish are the common remedial actions.
Goldfish diseases are pretty similar to human diseases. These aquarium fish are a nice value addition to your fish tank, provided they are in healthy condition. If you are fond of petting these creatures and adding to the beauty and possessions of your house, some care is essential for their healthy living.