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Common Goldfish Diseases – Why Do Goldfish Die? – 2023

If you are keeping goldfish, you should be informed about the most common goldfish diseases. These 5 diseases will answer the question of why goldfish die and allow you to treat the fish.

Swim Bladder Disorder:

Swim bladder disorder is most commonly seen in goldfish. The first signs of fish with swim bladder disease are sinking to the bottom, erratic movements, and involuntary tossing in the water. Goldfish belong to the category of fish that have a connection between the esophagus and the swim bladder.

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This feature complicates the air sac in fish that ensures proper swimming ability. Especially in some species, the very curved spines lead to frequent encounters with this disease.

The disease, which can occur due to excessive air entering the swim bladder during feeding, can be partially improved by changing the feeding method and type of food. Continuously feeding the fish with the wrong or the same type of food can make it sick. All fish in the aquarium require a diet composed of several types.

If your goldfish is lying on its side, there’s a high probability that the swim bladder has burst. You should avoid overfeeding. You can also consider the following treatment for your sick fish.

For this disease, a device called a float balancing device has been produced by a veterinarian. However, this device cannot prevent the death of the goldfish and can cause bodily injuries in sick fish.

For more information about the disease: Swim Bladder Disorder Treatment

White Long Feces (Thread-like Excrement Trailing Behind)

You may notice your goldfish excreting long, thread-like, white feces. Although this is often interpreted as an internal parasite (Camallanus), in reality, only two out of every hundred fish actually have the parasite.

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Many of the fish observed with internal parasites are caught in the wild. This parasite can be seen in fish that have exchanged in aquarium water or have been kept in the same environment as wild fish.

Although this is one of the common goldfish diseases, it can often result in fish deaths due to misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

If the feces of the goldfish are long and have a transparent white appearance, the focus should be on other possible issues before considering parasites. The reasons for this occurrence could be exposure to warmer than usual water temperatures and irregular feeding.

By regularly changing the water in the aquarium and paying attention to feeding, it’s highly likely you’ll see an improvement in this condition.

How Is It Treated? Goldfish Diseases: Parasites And Lice

Parasites are commonly found among goldfish diseases and usually come with fish added to the tank without quarantine. Fish arriving at the store are already stressed, and they can be placed directly into the store’s aquariums. This situation puts the fish under extreme stress, reducing their immunity and making them susceptible to parasites.

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A fish infected with parasites may show no signs of illness if it only stays in the store for a few days. If one thinks the purchased fish is healthy and doesn’t quarantine it in a separate small aquarium, then the other fish will also contract these parasites.

Among the first and significant symptoms of parasites are: shedding and bruising on the body, tears in the fins, lethargy, respiratory difficulty, and sudden death.


It’s impossible to see parasites inside the body with the naked eye. However, lice and worms can be seen upon close inspection. If your fish is rubbing against decor or other areas to scratch itself, there’s a high chance it has lice.

There are many types of parasites, and the correct, different treatment should be applied for each. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single treatment for all parasitic diseases.

Goldfish Kidney Disease – Why Is Its Belly Swollen?

You might notice that your goldfish’s belly looks as swollen as a balloon. This can be a sign of polycystic kidney disease, which is also commonly seen in goldfish. If your goldfish is interacting with other fish, has no problems swimming, and is eating food, then for now, there seems to be no problem.

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The primary cause of the disease is cysts forming in the kidneys. As many cysts form, the fish becomes increasingly swollen, and over time, it begins to suffer. If the fish isn’t doing the previously mentioned activities, there’s a high chance it’s in pain.

Since there’s no treatment for the disease, euthanasia with the help of a veterinarian can be considered for a suffering aquarium fish before it dies. However, there’s also the possibility that it’s a healthy fish or has a different illness.

The swelling mentioned here shouldn’t be confused with constipation; a correct diagnosis is essential. Diagnosis can only be done with the help of an ultrasound.

Warts in Goldfish:

The lumps forming on the goldfish are common aquarium fish diseases. Even though they lead to an aesthetically unpleasant appearance, they aren’t a threat to your fish’s health.

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This condition is caused by benign tumors that form under the fish’s skin. If these tumors don’t obstruct its vision, the fish might not even be aware of the wart’s presence on its body. These warts can fall off on their own, and new ones can subsequently form.

If it doesn’t affect their life, there’s no need for any treatment. Otherwise, surgical intervention is necessary, and you should consult a veterinarian.

Pop-eye (Eye Fungus, Bulging Eye)

Eye fungus can result from several causes, primarily poor water quality and injuries. It’s among the most commonly encountered diseases in goldfish. If a protrusion has formed in your fish’s eye subsequently, it’s a sign of the disease.

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In addition, for fish like telescope goldfish and similar types that appear to have bulging eyes, it’s a natural state because that’s how they are structured. However, even these fish can frequently develop eye fungus due to impacts.

Proper diagnosis is essential for treatment. If correctly diagnosed, it can be cured with simple treatment. In many cases, even if it can be treated, it might be regarded as a disease without a cure depending on the causative factor.

For more detailed information and treatment: Pop-eye Disease

Red Spots on Skin and Fins

The red streaks (spots) forming on the skin and fins are a disease caused by poor water quality and stress. This disease is often the answer to the question of why fish die in bowls.

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If you observe these symptoms in your fish, the first thing you need to do is to verify if there was any recent situation that could have caused stress. Then, you should check your water quality and apply the necessary actions.

To maintain good water quality, regular water changes are very important. You should perform a water change of at least 25% weekly. It’s also essential to note that keeping fish in bowls is not recommended.

If you have an aquarium with a capacity of 40 liters, you must change at least 10 liters of water weekly. To speed up the treatment process, aquarium salt and methylene blue can be used in recommended doses.

Other Fish Diseases:

In addition to the diseases mentioned above, there are other diseases that can be seen in goldfish.

These diseases include:

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Why Does a Goldfish Die?

All these diseases are among the signs of death in goldfish. Goldfish diseases are mostly seen in those kept in bowls. No fish is suitable for being kept in bowls or very small aquariums (5-10 liters) except for certain creatures like shrimp. Before acquiring fish, you must certainly do a brief research about their needs.

By eliminating bowls from your life, you will largely eliminate the need to ask why your goldfish died. Contrary to what fish sellers might tell you, depending on the species, your goldfish definitely requires an aquarium of at least 40 liters or more.

Kaynaklar: Wikipedia

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