Goldfish Slime Coat
Slime Coat Problems
- A white slime coat can be caused in response to a fish trying to fight off an infection, a pH problem or irritation from a treatment . (not to be confused with a fluffy white coat; that is a fungus. See list of diseases for info.)
- Black is usually caused by ammonia burns due to high ammonia levels in the water.
The number one cause for a weakened coat is stress. A stressed out fish won’t secrete a healthy layer of mucoprotein, leaving itself susceptible to infection, diseases and parasites. The causes of stress in a goldfish include a long list, many of which are caused by the owners actions.
- Warm water conditions promotes bacteria growth
- Drastic and fast changes in water temperatures
- Chlorine and chloramine in the water
- High ammonia levels causing ammonia burns (blacking skin)
- Low oxygen or high carbon dioxide
- Low or dropping of pH levels
- Acclimating a new fish improperly or too fast
- New goldfish might pick on or be picked on by others
- Not providing sufficient hiding places for a new tank mate
- Transporting or moving a fish is stressful on them
- Using a dry fish net that scraps the slime coat off
- Open wounds and scraps add to the stress of a goldfish
- Touching or petting a goldfish removes the slime coat
Maintaining a Slime Coat
Avoid improper handling, don’t neglect your routine tank maintenance and provide a happy tank environment for your goldfish. There are several products on the market that will help maintain or cure the weakened protective slime coat of a goldfish. These include: a chlorine remover and slime coat replacer, pH buffers beneficial bacteria that can help cycle a tank that helps remove ammonia and wound healing solutions.
Other treatments include: Aqueous aloe vera gel 5-30% that promotes healing; sodium carboxymethyl cellulose and polyvinylprolidone that contains a mucoprotein slime replacing compound; ethylendediaminetetraacetic acid which is a chleating agent; diazolidinyl urea is a preservative.