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Old 04-02-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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goldfish missing scales

My 3.5 inch goldfish seems to be losing scales in a spot on one side of his body. I've tried to look really closely at the area and I'm not even sure that any scales are missing. It looks like his bright orange scales just turned silver mysteriously, but that doesn't seem likely. He is swimming and eating normally and seems as active as usual. I have a pleco in the tank with him so maybe its from the pleco sucking on the goldfish, I dont know. Like I said, I can't even tell for sure if the scales are missing or just discolored. Do goldfish have multiple layers of scales?

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
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My goldies do lose some scales periodically. As long as no fungus develops, and they continue to act normally, I'd not worry. I would however watch for the pleco sucking on the fish and if that is indeed the case I would remove the pleco.

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Old 04-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
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ive had this problem, one of my plecos was pretty much bullying a few of my golden panchax, had a good friend that works for the LFS come round to see what was going on as it got to the extend where a couple died as they were constanly being attacked, he suggested to feed it 2 algae wafers just as i turned the light off in the evening as it could be its not getting enough protein, since ive taken his advise i have had no problems with the pleco bullying others... (touch wood lol)
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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Goldies can lose color as they grow. This is esp. true for mixed breed <ie the common fantails>. If they have a bit of calico blood in them, their color can get all mixed up. My first fantail had a mix of metallic & matted scales, and every one has different color. Looks kinda neat, but definitely not show material!

As for the pleco .... commons are known to suck off the slime coat, but there should be no missing scales. Check your tank with a small flashlight after dark when the goldy is asleep. This is the time when plecos are most likely to be sucking on the slime coat.
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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