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Gina, Animal Care Specialist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 5880
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience in pet health care, breeder of English Mastiffs, barnyard, knowledgeable aquarium keeper.
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My small goldfish are eating the tails of my large fantail ...

Resolved Question:

My small goldfish are eating the tails of my large fantail fish. Why is this happening? I have had the two fantails for two years. They have grown about 3 1/2 to 4 inches long. I recently added two samll gold fish in July. Today I discovered the two large fantails, a moor and a goldfish had what looked like a severe case of tail rot that happened overnight. Actually, the moor appears to be dead. The other large gold fish is fighting to stay alive. What I observed as I pondered why they looked like that was shocking to me. The two little ones would swim up behind the large gold fish and nip at his fantail. The larger would would immediate swim away as fast as he could. The large ones had grown beautiful fantails that flowed so gracefully behind them. Why did the little gold fish start eating the large gold fish tails?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Gina replied 9 years ago.

Are the smaller goldfish comets by any chance?

Can you tell me about your tank set up?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am not sure if the smaller gold fish are comets. They have a double tail and are spotted.

I have a twenty gallon tank. with a filter and a light. The light is usually off.
Expert:  Gina replied 9 years ago.
Smaller goldfish (especially comets) are notorious fin nippers..especially when paired up with larger round bodied fish. Honestly, the only way to prevent this is to seperate them. You can use a tank divider to see if, after some time, they can be put together again. I would treat your tank with some Melafix to keep the nips on the fins from turning into fin rot. You could try adding some extra plants for hiding spaces, but seperating them would be best. :) Good luck
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