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Old 03-12-2006, 09:31 AM   #1
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Do fish loose their scales?

Is it normal for a fish to loose some of its scales? I've noticed that my goldie is loosing her/his scales. I thought at first that it was because of a near 100% water change and must've scrapped on something during the change. But it appears that it isn't getting better & it looks as is if both sides of his/her body are affected, whereas before it was noticeable on just the right side. I haven't observed any of the scraping behavior sometimes discussed on this forum.

Coupled with the fact that the fish hasn't been observed eating in the past week - I'm wondering if I'm not doing something right.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:53 AM   #2
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Are the scales gone, or are they raised? No, its not normal for a fish to lose scales.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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Is the fish at all bloated?

I'm not sure what's wrong with him, but if you have a QT, he needs to get in there now. Primary treatment for any disease is clean water, so get him in the QT and do large water changes regularly. I'd be tempted to start with an antibiotic course. Even if he doesn't have an infection, the lost scales may be indicative of skin damage, and that will allow secondary infection. Close observation might provide a more definitive diagnosis.
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Old 03-12-2006, 10:58 AM   #4
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Larger goldfish can lose one or two of their scales. Normally due to abrasions. Not on both sides. Do the areas look fuzzy or cottony? Are any of the scales raised and does the goldy seem bloated? The fact that he is not eating is the worrisome part IMO. He may have scraped himself during the water change and is now getting infected.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:01 AM   #5
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I'll try to put some pictures up
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:03 AM   #6
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Check all of your ornaments (logs, ships, etc) for rough edges and size compared to the fish. I have an oranda that still hasn't regrown all of his scales when he got stuck in a log... I had him in QT for 3-4 months because he actually lost a little fillet on his side when we finally got him out. We never thought he'd attempt to go into that log because he is so much bigger than it is, but he did. He's fine now, and back with his goldfish friends but, I don't think the scales will ever grow back especially on the side where he lost the meat - it's scarred. Also, watch the behaviour of other fish in the tank. We had a guppie that was a loner from taking over my mother's fishstock... seemed like the goldfish tank was the only place for him... then we noticed he was pulling scales off of the gentle goldfish! I promptly moved him to my rainbow tank thinking he would either go into hiding amongst the plants or be killed by the rainbows. Unbelievably, the rainbows have accepted him and he's quite happy in there. Also, he could be rubbing intentionally on objects in the tank either due to a parasite on the skin or too many ornaments and not enough room to swim. Or, he could have rubbed himself on something during the drastic water change. There are several things that could have happened. QT is definitely good advice but, check all of those other things too. Hope your guy returns to full health soon.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:14 AM   #7
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I already have him in a 10g by himself; so he's QT'd. Here are some pics:


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Old 03-12-2006, 11:27 AM   #8
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I'd start with adding some melafix to the water to assist in repairing the scale damage. Also try feeding some frozen peas rather than his regular food to make sure he isn't constipated.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:33 AM   #9
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he isn't eating, I tried the peas not too long ago - but I'll give it another shot. If I'm not mistaken Melafix is an antibacterial treatment. The tank is in the middle of it's cycle - taking a long time - so I want to be careful about what I add to the water.

Not sure what I can do at this point, the fish won't eat and it's lossing scales, things don't look so good....
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
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Melafix is mild and will not harm the cycle. Take any active carbon out of the filter. Are you able to hand feed him the peas at all? Make sure they are bite size.
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