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The Goldfish Sanctuary

Velvet Disease

Symptoms: tiny gold or yellow specs covering a fish's body, fins, or gills, Rapid gill movements

Similar to ich, but much more difficult to spot (especially on a gold-fish), Velvet Disease appears as a very fine yellow or gold dust. The gold specs are small and often numerous, usually appearing first on the back of the fish, eventually spreading to other areas of the body and gills. Checking a fish's transparent fins is often the best way to check for Velvet. Although the disease may not be present there, if it is, it will show up much more easily.

The first thing to do is to contact your vet or petstore for further instruction. Several good medications are available. It is wise to treat your main tank in order to ensure that you have successfully removed all traces of the parasite from it (although it may be beneficial to also move a badly afflicted fish to a quarantine tank). Leave the filter running, but remove any activated carbon because this substance takes medicine out of the water. Remember, the key to treating Velvet Disease successfully is prompt action.

Because Velvet Disease has a lifecycle like that of ich, it is advised that treatment at full strength should occur for at least 10 days. Further, because Velvet also uses light as an alternate energy source, shading your tank may also help speed recovery.