You are here:

Freshwater Aquarium/White spots and water issues


I have 2 fish, 1 large fancy goldfish and one algae eater. They are in a 30 gallon tank. My goldfish has white spots only on his fins and some bumps on his dorsal fin. We have done the ick treatment as well as treating him for bacterial infection. They are still there, not spreading but not getting better either.

We also have been struggling with the water chemistry. It fluctuates every day. These problems have been going on for months. For the last several weeks the goldfish mostly sits on the bottom and the algae eater mostly hides in the plant.

We have a test kit and test it regularly. We were told to do water changes every day because the ammonia was 4.0. That threw off the nitrites and nitrates and the pH. So now we are doing water changes every couple of weeks, putting Prime in, putting in potassium bicarbonate to keep the pH in range. We also are using some bacteria to process the crap in the bottom under the gravel.

We have two other fish tanks, one in an aquaponic system, and a pond with a koi and a goldfish (and 3 new babies, I know, crazy!)

One day the chemistry in the 30 gallon tank is kinda ok, other days it is really off. I feel so bad for the fish. They are completely miserable. And I worry about the white spots on the goldfish.


I am going to toss a few things out there and see if any will work for you.
Tank should not have a heater, GF do well in cool water. The white bumps are not ich as
if it were the whole fish would be covered with salt like spots. The reason your ammonia is high is because who ever told you to do everyday water changes was wrong. The tank will never complete the nitrogen cycle if you do that. Those water changes are like adding gas to a fire.
Cease the PH adjustment as unless you alter the water at a molecular level it will not stay where you put it. Buffers get used up. Goldfish will do fine anywhere from the 7.0-8.0 area. Ph is not, unless at the extreme of either direction a deal breaker here. Test your tap water and see what the ph is at the source.
Don;t overfeed, give your tank approx 7-10 days to cycle. It will spike in ammonia, drop, then spike again and drop and your there. 5gals is the max you should change in your tank unless you are in critical conditon. Your algae eater will go hungry unless you feed him pellets or the like after the lights go out. Goldfish being carp are veggie eaters. Give them some baby frozen peas now and then, helps with swim bladder issues as well.
If your tap is in the range of the ph leave it alone and as you water change the ph will balance out. If you have a softener, use the spigot ahead of the unit to get your water.
Also in a 36gal tank I would add around 5 tblsp of sea salt, not table salt to the water. Then, doing 5 gal water change I would add 1 tblsp to the 5 gals to replace what was removed. Salts are heavier than water and do not evaporate. GF, mollies, guppies, swordtails and many others like a bit of salt in the water, also acts as a preventitive.
Hope this helps and Good Luck with your Aquarium.  

Freshwater Aquarium

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


michael mccorry


I can answer questions concerning tanks, setup, display, maintence,filters, heaters, substrates, CO2 Systems, lighting, arrangements. Also water quality, chemical makeup and altering water parameters. I can advise on fish selection, how to arrange the tank to minimize aggression, water parameters for specific fish, breeding and raisning fry. Feeding and nutrition. Lighting both flourescent and metal halide and everything in between Plants, selection, lighting and feeding requirements, CO2 Systems, and substrate selection as well as what plants will work with what fish. Heating, and cooling the tank. Automating certain functions and what maintenence is necesssary to keep things looking good. Fish diseases their diagnosis and treatment. As well as other topics related to the hobby.


I have been involved in Tropical Fish for over 30 years having bred or kept most everything that was out there at one time or annother. I have worked in several shops and managed several more, I have owned my own shop for over 12 years and currently maintain more than 3000gals of fresh water and saltwater fish, plants and invertabrates. I service tanks and respond to emergency calls. I advise on design, placement and impact of displays and custom design and install whatever the client wishes. I had a business within a business servicing systems for Dr;s,Offices, Restaurants, Hospitals, and private individuals.

TFH FAMA American Cichlid Association

I attended Clinton Comm. College and then went to work for the State of New York. I also recieved training in the unrelated field of Law Enforcement. I am a certified fish specialist both fresh and saltwater having attended seminars at the Backer Trade Shows in Atlantic City sanctioned by PPAC.

Awards and Honors
I have won awards from the New York State Dept of Education and from the Govenors Office for Business of the Year in the Northern Tier. I work as a consultant with the State assisting people who are starting a business.

©2016 All rights reserved.