Hi people, a while back my goldfish developed a growth or tumour essentially on his left eye. I think I read that there wasn't much to be done for this and it didn't really seem to affect him. However it has grown a lot in recent weeks and become very black. Also, when I was moving him to the bath just now so that I could clean his tank, there was some blood coming from the growth. It has since stopped and this isn't a usual occurence; I think it may be due to a knock he received whilst being moved. I should add that I can't notice any further behavioural changes as a result of this.
Anyway, pictures are attached and I'd like to know what, if anything, I can or should do for my fish.
What are your levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrates? Monitor these regularly throughout the week between water changes. It will be essential to keep the former two at 0 and the latter at <20ppm if at all possible. Any level above these should be addressed by more frequent and larger water changes, as scrupulously clean water is of paramount importance to prevent any problems such as bacterial infections setting in.
3+ years ago, before I even knew of the existence of forums such as these for help, my goldfish also developed a growth on his left eye - the iris changed colour, then it seemed to develop into a growth. For many months, it didn't really affect him.
However, later down the line, he did start becoming more lethargic and spending more time at the surface, especially after eating, which I put down to a type of swimbladder malfunction. Also, the growth started to develop a white cotton-wool type of fungus over it. In hindsight, I think the two were connected ie that it developed into a secondary bacterial infection. What I considered, but didn't do and still now regret, was administer treatment for a bacterial infection which might have changed the outcome.
In your case, therefore, what I would advise on the basis of my own experience is to monitor the situation and, if there are any other signs at all which might point to a potential bacterial infection (or indeed anything else), to be ready to treat accordingly as soon as possible.
I believe surgery can also be done - but it depends on the age of the fish. My recollection from back then was that surgery wasn't usually attempted on goldfish aged 10+ due to poorer outcomes.
Hope this helps. Best of luck - and keep us posted if there are any changes at all or his behaviour changes in any way.
Just to add, you shouldn't be putting him in the bath. There will be residue from soap etc., even if you can't see it, plus I assume when you do this you're putting him in water straight from the tap which is a bad idea as it will contain chlorine which is an irritant and be chemically different to water that has been in the tank with a filter.
I assume you are emptying the whole tank which is also not good. Normally you should only change 25% of the water every week (without removing the fish) and at the same time clean your filter sponges in old tank water. I suspect that the fish is being subjected to repeated ammonia spike which will not be helping him.
What size tank is he in? What filter do you have? Can you post test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
I think the best course of action for now, in light of how small your tank is, is to do regular partial water changes - rather than the standard 25% per week, or 100% per ?week that you had been doing, you'd be best doing something along the lines of 25% daily.
Exactly what the right amount to do and how frequently will depend on your water quality results when you monitor the water quality - ammonia and nitrite should be consistently at 0, while nitrates should be consistently no more than 20 (or 20 above whatever your tap water reading is).
Little and often is best eg 25% every second day might be appropriate or you may have to do as much as 50% every day, but make sure that you never let water changes lapse more than weekly - there are other things in the water such as hormones that affect fish but which the water tests don't measure, so, even in the unlikely event that your water quality seemed ok after a week, it's best to do a water change anyway - and the older goldfish get, the more they require water quality to be perfect.
There is no need to take him out of the tank and put him in the bath while undertaking water changes from now on - that will be one less stress for him and reduces the likelihood of any injury also.
There is a possibility that the water changes alone to ensure that water quality is in optimal condition (anything higher than the levels I mentioned is toxic to goldfish) may actually solve the problem and that the growth disappears of its own accord, although I think this is unlikely. However, he may well be able to live with it, and it not affect him, provided that you keep an eye out to ensure that a bacterial infection doesn't set in as I think probably happened in my case.
Coincidentally again, my goldfish was also 14 years old when he had this problem, and I was advised that he was too old for surgery. However, vets may have a different view now than they did 3 years ago - you may find this https://www.fishvetsociety.org.uk/inte ... illing-to-treat-pet-fish/ helpful or, if not, contact the veterinary dept in one of the unis which sometimes have contacts/researchers/vets who deal specifically with fish and who may be able to advise.
Although volume is important, length is too ie when looking at suitable tanks and volumes, best to look for one which is long and shallow rather than square - the Fluval Roma 240-litre is a good tank for a goldfish.
If a brand new one is out of the question imminently, then a couple of alternative/interim options are: * look out for second-hand ones via the local section of aquarist-classifieds.co.uk - and make sure they are watertight and the sealant is good; * Really Useful Boxes http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/uk/html/boxdetails.php come in a variety of sizes and the largest one would be suitable as a temporary option - Homebase sells them.
Whatever you do, make sure that you use the same filter media in the new tank, either transferring it all into a new bigger filter or else by using the existing filter and a new bigger filter and splitting the existing filter media between the two and each topped up with new media. That will reduce the likelihood of a cycle or a mini-cycle occurring in the new tank.