This parasite also goes by Gyrodactylus and dactylogyrus, is one of the most common parasites found in goldfish and can be found in aquariums and pet stores around the world. The two different types of flukes, while occuring simultaniously, are different in their way or reproduction. While the gill flukes live in the gills and lay eggs in the tank, the body flukes bear live young. Flukes will feed on the fishes slime coat, but will not bite, or suck bloof from the goldfish. By eating away at the slimecoat however, the goldfish is open to other parasites. 

Research on the fluke is showing a 'closed population' of fish can develop an immunity to the fluke, eliminating it overtime. Try to resit the urge to introduce new goldfish to a well established goldfish tank. 


Symptoms can include:

  • excessive slime coat
  • isolation
  • clamped fins
  • scratching and flashing
  • sores and ulcers (from the scratching) 

With gill flukes the symptoms can include:

  • gasping at the surface
  • iriitated gills
  • cloppy looking gills.


Typically a standard salt treatment could take care of a pathogen, but not the fluke. Common treatments include:

  • pottassium permanganate (PP) 
  • Droncit
  • Fluketabs
  • Formalin
  • Healthguard
  • Quick Cure

A repeat treatment will be needed. The eggs and larvae are still in the tank, even though the mother was taken care of during the first treatment. The repeat treatment should occur 4 days after the 1st treatment, and then a 3rd treatment 4 days after the 2nd.