How do you get rid of parasites in gold fish

Goldfish, just like every living organism, can suffer from disease and parasites. Parasites are very contagious, and they can find their way to the entire tank if not quickly curtailed. Pests won’t stop spreading in the tank until all the fish are affected; hence there is a need to get rid of it on time. You can manually remove external macroscopic parasites because they are often visible. Adding aquarium salt at ten tablespoons per gallon and placing each fish in it for about 2 seconds can quickly remove microscopic parasites. Fighting parasites in the early stage will certainly prevent an outbreak of tropical fish disease. Likewise, follow up treatment after getting rid of the pests is very vital to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Since nearly all goldfish parasites can be spotted externally on their body, you can easily detect their presence by carefully examining the shape of the fish regularly. You can easily detect visible parasites such as leeches, worms, and flukes on the body of fish. Also what you feed your goldfish can have an impact on this condition.

Common Goldfish Parasites

Tropical fish generally have a lot of parasites because of their susceptibility. This susceptibility is further enhanced if they are living under unhygienic conditions. Goldfish parasites can be microscopic or macroscopic, internal or external; below are some of the parasites that are prevalent with goldfish:

Fish Lice

Fish lice can be dangerous because it is tough to spot and detect them. The parasite is tricky because of its ability to take up the color of the host. You can predict their presence because affected fish continuously try to get them off by rubbing their body against stones or other surfaces.

Anchor Worms

Anchor worms got their name because of their anchor-shaped head. The fish often bleed a little from the spot where the parasite attaches itself to their body. The anchor shape of the parasite’s head makes it difficult to remove from the body of the fish. Consequently, pulling the parasite out of the body of goldfish with force can result in bleeding.


Goldfish are prone to two common types of flukes, which are; skin flukes and gills fluke. Skin flukes attach to the skin of goldfish, thereby causing the surface of the fish to swell. They can also cause localized sores on the body of fish. Gill fluke, on the other hand, attach to the gill of fishes and consequently making it difficult for them to breathe.


Piscinoodinium is a major microscopic parasite that affects goldfish. This organism is the causative agent of gold lust disease in goldfish. This disease gives gold patterns that are visible on the scale of the fish.


These are a group of parasites that are internal parasites. Otherwise called a hole in the head disease, Hexamita often harms aged, weak, and stressed fish. They can also get a firm hold of fishes living under poor water conditions.


This parasite has the nickname “ich” or ‘white spot’ for short because it is the causative agent of the disease. It is one of the prevalent and most common tropical fish diseases that affect goldfish. This parasite is highly contagious and can quickly spread from one fish to another. Therefore, it is of best interest to quarantine affected fish once you discover a dish has the disease.


leeches are particularly dangerous because they feed on blood. You should find a way of removing them as soon as possible once you discover them before they cause a blood shortage in your fish. Even though leeches leave the body of host goldfish once it is full, it is, however, dangerous because blood loss can be very lethal for goldfish. Manual and forceful removal of leeches from the skin of goldfish can leave a wound on the surface. This wound is because parts of the leech jaw can still be attached to the skin of the fish. This wound can consequently lead to a high risk of infection in the affected fish.

How Can You Recognize The Presence Of Parasite In Your Tank

It is easy to tell the presence of parasites, particularly external parasites in your tank. Aside from the strange behaviors you fish can exhibit, you can also figure out the presence of external parasites by close examination of your goldfish. You can predict the presence of parasites in your tank when your fish starts moving strangely. For instance, you can find your fish rubbing their back against stones and other surfaces in a bid to get the parasites off their body. Likewise, you can also predict the presence of fluke if the gills of goldfish turn pink or you continuously find them on the surface of the tank. They stay at the surface of the water to ease their breathing. Parasites, particularly internal parasites, on the other hand, can cause the fish to lose appetite, hide abnormally, and also exhibit some flashing behavior.

How To Get Rid Of Parasites From Your Tank

Getting rid of parasites from your tank is quite easy, especially if you detect their presence on time. Since most parasites can be visible for physical examination, you can remove them manually picking them. You can remove the parasites manually from the skin of the fish. However, follow up treatment is often required to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Getting rid of microscopic and internal parasites can be slightly different. Add an appropriate portion of copper salt to the water and place the affected fish in it for some minutes before returning to the main tank. This simple treatment can eliminate any microscopic parasites in and on the body of goldfish.


You can mitigate the access of parasites to your tank by ensuring the cleanliness and good water quality in your tank at all times. However, once you spot the presence of parasites in your tank, it is paramount to take swift action. This swift action will ensure the parasites do not spread through your tank, and also to prevent disease outbreak in the tank. Getting rid of parasites from the tank is quite easy, especially if detected on time.  

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