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How To Help A Goldfish With Red Gills!

With the trusty goldfish still being the most commonly kept freshwater fish by far as well as it being a very popular beginner fish to keep, we constantly see people reaching out and asking different questions about what they should be doing to take care of their goldfish as best they can.

People often reach out with a wide range of different problems relating to their goldfish and various different problems that they are having but thankfully, many of these issues are a relatively easy fix.

Over the last couple of months, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people reaching out and asking various questions about why their pet goldfish gills are red and how they are able to fix the issue.

With so many people asking about having goldfish with red, inflamed gills we have decided to publish our own article on the topic as many of the answers that we see people getting on social media about a goldfish with red gills are wrong and actually put your fish at risk.

We hope that this article will be able to help our readers identify exactly why their pet goldfish has red gills as well as how they are able to fix the issue in their fix to help it back to full health as quickly as possible.

This really is much easier than most people initially think it is and the majority of goldfish that end up with red inflamed gills can often be treated with ease provided you notice the condition early enough and decide to take action.

Why Are My Goldfish Gills Red?

The most common cause of red gills in goldfish is due to a build-up of ammonia levels in a fish tank with this being common if regular water changes are not carried out or if the tank is overstocked.

The second most common cause of red gills in goldfish is due to nitrate poisoning and this is usually due to the same causes of problems with ammonia in the water but tends to be less common in most tanks.

The majority of aquarium will naturally have steadily increasing ammonia and nitrate levels that regular tank maintenance and water changes can counter.

It is very common for beginners to forget to carry out tank maintenance or at least regular water changes resulting in the levels of ammonia and nitrates in the water of their tank getting to a level where it will cause issues in their goldfish and turn their gills red or in some cases purple.

There are also some parasites, bacteria, and fungi that can cause infections in the gills of your fish that will result in inflammation but this is far rarer than the cause being a simple problem with nitrates or ammonia levels.

The vast majority of our readers who have a goldfish with red gills will be having issues with one or more of these three most common causes of red gills in fish making it very easy to try and narrow down a potential fix.

How To Help A Goldfish With Gills Red!

It is usually very easy to help a goldfish that has red gills with a simple water change often being enough to correct the two main causes of red gills in goldfish by reducing the ammonia and nitrate levels in the tank.

If the red gills in your goldfish is due to an infection then there are various treatments on the market such as Pimafix that can often treat the problem and help your fish back to full health.

You can use a aquarium water test kit to check the water parameters of your tank with the more advanced test kits on the market being excellent at detecting the more common issues such as issues with nitrate and ammonia levels.

Once you have your reading from your test kit, you can then look to go about correcting any problems with the water parameters of your aquarium to help get the gills of your pet goldfish back to their natural color.

If you have used a water test kit and it comes back with the water parameters of your tank being normal then you can look for signs of infection.

The more common bacterial, parasitic, and fungi based infections will often have obvious signs and Pimafix will often be able to deal with the more common infections that can cause red gills in your pet goldfish with ease.

Can A Goldfish With Red Gills Get Better By Itself?

Although there is a very small chance that a goldfish with red gills will be able to get better by itself, the chances of this happening really are small and it is unlikely that your goldfish will end up getting better without human intervention.

A goldfish is not able to correct the issues that cause red gills and if the goldfish is left, the ammonia and nitrate levels in its tank will just increase making the problem worse.

A very small number of bacterial, parasitic, and fungi based infections that can cause the gills of a fish to turn red can be treat by the fishes natural immune system but this is also very rare and most goldfish will have to have a helping hand from their keeper.

Thankfully, the most common causes of red gills in fish are quick, easy, and cheap or even free to treat so there really shouldn’t be any problem with your giving your goldfish a helping hand.

One thing that we would mention is that if you notice that your pet goldfish keeps having problems with red gills every few months then we would highly recommend that you increase the frequency of your tank maintenance on the tank, particularly the water changes.

This should keep the ammonia and nitrate levels as low as possible to keep your fish safe and happy and prevent its gills from flaring up again.


That brings our article going over how to help a goldfish with red gills to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the common causes of red gills in fish as well as how you can quickly, easily, and cheaply treat them to help your goldfish make a full recovery. As with most things with fish, the earlier you notice the problem and begin treatment the better and the higher the chances of survival for your fish will be.