Whirling Disease in Goldfish?

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Befriend a feeder!
Oct 17, 2006
Southern California
squabeggs, I can't for the life of me think what this could be. Nothing comes to mind that would 1)cause that kind of spinning and 2) improve with antibacterials. The only thing that MIGHT be possible is an infection in the gut, some kind of bacteria that's releasing air into his bowels and causing him to uncontrollably roll onto his back, where he struggles back upright, then rolls over, then back upright, etc. I'm glad to hear he's on the mend though. Keep up with the treatment and be sure to hold those nitrates down. Best of luck to you and him.


Fish Stix
Original poster
Well...Spartan appears to be that much closer to re-introduction. He is still ostracized in the QT....for now.
- 2 rounds of Marycin II treatment with a few days and H20 changes in between.
- Aquarium salt was added to the tank water after round one of the M2. (2 tbs/10 gallons)
- He is now on about week 2 of clean, salt free water.
- Fins are standing at attention...specifically the dorsal...hence the name Spartan.
- Still not perfectly symmetrical (never has been), but not obviously bloated either.
Couple more weeks of observation and he will be cleared to hang out with his buddies once again. :D
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AC Members
Sep 6, 2010
Real Name
I have had expiriences with what you describe...in many diff fish. We had a black skirt tetra at my store that had a ripped fin on one side and that made him swirl like a mad man...I also just lost my babyblack moor due to swim bladder issues. he wasnt twirling as violently as in the first video (couldnt get yours to come up) but he was still twirling, but at the surface. Becareful that you do not over medicate...we have had fatalities at the store due to people who do not follow directions and over medicate. Also...any type of medication you use takes air out of the water...i would add additional aeriation if needed. From what people have told me on here...chunk the flakes, they are no good and only use sinking pellets if you are going to use pellets...fresh veggies and brine shrimp or bloodworms for protein...some ppl mix them together and add jello then freeze...

have you noticed any reddening of gills or anywhere on the little guy? I know you mentioned amonia/nitrate poisoning and that can cause the little guys to swim crazy and rapidly but I dont think that this is the case...but I would still keep a very close eye on your parameters, nitrates < 5ppm...even when treating you can do small WC to help flush out toxins.

btw...what color is his poop? Lupin told me that if it wis white it could indicate internal infection...

good luck sweetie I hope that something I said helps...just hang in there and dont euthanize yet...i had to put my little Mr. Moor down and it broke my heart! I would just continue checking here...sometimjes it takes a little bit to get responses...and look all over the internet for other sources. if you have a really good lfs...not petsmart...but like a locally owned store, give them a call and see what they say! you could also try to PM Lupin...he seems to know all!!

mucho bueno luck =)


Registered Member
May 2, 2012
I am new to this site, but after reading your post, I have had a VERY similar case, but the only difference was my gold had something growing from its side. About 6 months ago i noticed my fish had a large, about the size of a new eraser on a pencil, white mass growing from underneath the scales. While I was taking him out of the main tank to put him in the therapy tank the white thing fell off, leaving an open hole in his side. I treated the therapy tank with a bacteria treatment, parasite treatment and an antibiotic. fish got better.

when I fished out the white mass from the main tank it had a very specific metallic smell to it. odd if you ask me.

I am now in day 2 of treating my gold again, but this time he is spiraling, and had the large white thing come from his side in the same spot. Today it fell off leaving the same hole, just more red, I don't see the white thing this time. the only time he is not on swimming erratically is when he is resting on the bottom of the tank. the spiraling has been going on for quite awhile, but the scale loss and the growths are very recent. i hope the therapy works. i hope the infection hasn't damaged his ability to swim permanently.