Let Your Fish Live Happily by Knowing about Common Ornamental Fish Diseases and Treatment

Some or the other time in life, you have to see your beloved ornamental fish with diseases. These diseases are generally parasitic or bacterial and sometimes fungal and occasionally physical too. Fortunately, most of these diseases can be easily diagnosed and treated successfully.

Here are measures you can take to lower the possibility of diseases and their spread.



Types of Fish Ailments


Fish diseases can be divided into 4 common types:


  1. Bacterial:                                                                                                                                   

    These ailments are characterized by red spots or streaks and/or swelling on eye or abdomen. They can be treated with antibiotics like penicillin erythromycin or amoxicillin.                               

  2. Fungal:                                                                                                                                         These look like white or gray fluffy patches.     


  3. Parasitic:                                                                                                                                     

    “Ich” is the most common parasitic ailment and can be effectively treated with copper or malachite green incorrect dosage. Copper is an ingredient of most of the treatments to these diseases even water treatments like “Aquari-Sol”. If the treatment contains copper or antibiotic, don’t forget to remove all carbon from your aquarium’s filtration system.

  4. Physical:                                                                                                                                            These are often caused by the environmental conditions, like poor quality water, which can result in fish panting, not eating (mostly seen in puffer fish), jumping out of the tank and so on. Problems with tank mates can lead to biting wounds and nipped fins.



Prevention of Fish Diseases


You can take certain steps to lower the chances of your fish catching a disease. Here are some:


  • Purchases only high-quality compatible fish.


  • Before adding a new fish to the aquarium quarantine it.


  • Avoid overfeeding your fish.


  • Never subject your fish to stress with rough handling abruptly changing the conditions or introducing ‘bully’ tank mates.


  • If a fish is sick remove it from the aquarium and transfer it to a hospital tank for treatment.


  • Never add water from the quarantine tank to the aquarium.


  • Avoid any metal from coming in contact with the water in the aquarium.


  • While using any antibiotic you should make sure that the nitrifying bacteria in your biological filtration system are not killed by the treatment while it kills harmful microbes on your fish.                                        The best thing to do is either to observe the ammonia and nitrate levels or make use of an ammonia remover to ensure that the ammonia levels don’t cause a problem

If you want that your fish live happily, keep observing if there is anything wrong in their behavior.   Proper diagnosis is the key to successful treatment. Mostly fish medications available in pet stores work very well.

Following are the steps to diagnosing and treating the disease in your fish:


Identifying Symptoms:

  • Study the symptoms of each fish disease and see if they are taking place in your fish. E.g. small white spots on skin/fins or clamped fins are symptoms of ich, while yellowish clamped fins or peppery coating are symptoms of velvet.


Identifying Possible Cause:

  • Some symptoms can be common to multiple diseases. You better learn about each disease, i.e. possible causes



Use proper medication meant for the disease your fish has caught.


If you are planning to do fish farming, the first step you should take is to learn about all the common fish diseases, their symptoms, and treatments. Only then, you can become a successful aquarist

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