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Aquameds is a mid size provider of fish medications to the koi and goldfish resources you often turn to. They support their retailers as well as the hobbyist. They have a consultation form of great utility. Retailers can also contact them through their site,

Blackening or Turning Black in Koi or Goldfish

Blackening Koi or Goldfish Skin
Written by Dr Erik Johnson

Melanophore Migration
Orange Goldfish Develops Black Patches
"I bought a fish two weeks ago, and a few days after I bought it and carried it home, it started developing dark black patches on its body, especially on it's back and sides. After a week, the patches began to fade, now it's almost all orange again! What gives?"
ANSWER:
What you were seeing is called a "MELANOPHORE MIGRATION" - It's caused by *any* chemical or traumatic irritant or injury on the surface of the fishes' bodies.
Some good & very common causes include:
#1 cause: High Ammonia concentration in water
Low pH causes irritation
Fluke parasitism causes trauma
Ich or Costia infestation causes trauma
*HOWEVER*- the black color does not come until the irritant is REMOVED and the healing process begins.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that the fish *was* in bad water or under severe stress until you bought it, and the melanophore migration came and went as usual, starts as healing starts, comes on over two weeks, resides for a week or more, and clears within three to six weeks.
"Blackening and dark spots occurring on goldfish after some trauma to the skin will usually resolve in 3-6 weeks. It's interesting to note that the black and gold Orandas, as a side note; never hold the black." Doc Johnson



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