Recognizing And Preventing Disease
Not that I am any expert when it comes to
diagnosing and curing all that you may face when it comes to disease and
infestations of parasites but there are a few basics if followed that can
assist in recognizing that there are problems and steps that can be taken
to help fend off future potential problems.
What you will read here is my opinion and in no way meant for you to base
any diagnosis or proposed treatment for your fish solely on the contents of
this site. We can not be held liabel for any misuse or misunderstanding of the
information herein contained.
I've decided to take this one step further and by
Disease Descriptions you will get descriptions of some of the more common diseases and infestations plagueing the
home aquarist today.
Symptoms To Watch For
There are certain signs or symptoms a person
can watch for that can assist in helping to identify when there are
potential problems. It is very important to know the normal
behavior of the fish. If a normally active fish becomes non active or vice
versa then it's usually a sign something is happening.
Symptoms To Watch For:
- The fish is scratching against tank decorations and rocks.
- There are visible spots, lesions, lumps, or white patches on the fish's
body or fins.
- The fish's tail or dorsal fins appear frayed at the edges or are breaking
- Red streaks either running through the fish's fins or at the base of the
- The fish gasps at the surface of the water or you may notice rapid gill
- Gills that are puffy or swollen and the gill tissue is bright red or even
a grayish color. (Gill covers normally lay flat and the gill tissue is
normally a nice pinkish color)
- Clamped fins. (fins being held abnormally close to body)
- If the fish were to "shimmy", which is
when the fish will move from side to side without going forward.
- The fish suddenly bloats up and it's not due to eggs or holding fry.
- If the scales on the fish begin to protrude taking on the appearance of
resembling a pine cone.
- The fish all of a sudden takes on the appearance of being deformed (bent
- The fish refuses its usual food for more than 2 days.
- The fish floats, sinks, whirls, or swims sideways.
- The fish is having difficulty staying upright.
Factors Contributing To Stress
I believe that it's possible that most diseases
in home aquariums can be avoided. By listing some of the "avoidable" causes
perhaps we can move one step closer to providing more of a happy and healthy
environment for our fishy friends. In my opinion the vast majority of
disease in home aquaria can be prevented by avoiding stress. Stress will
weaken a fish's immune system leaving the fish more susceptible to
disease and infestations by parasites. Trying to avoid some of the more
common stress factors listed below, I believe most problems in home
aquaria can be alleviated.
Factors Contributing To Stress:
- Poor water quality due to inadequate tank maintenance habits.
- Poor water quality due to measurable levels of ammonia and nitrites or
high levels of nitrates.
- Keeping fish in a pH level which is not stable and fluctuates more than
.2 (point two) parts per day or which is not suitable for the species.
- Insufficient level of dissolved oxygen in the water.
- Water temperature which fluctuates on a regular basis.
- Water temperature which is not suitable for the species of fish.
- Incompatibility of fish in an aquarium.
- Not keeping schooling fish in groups.
- Overstocking an aquarium.
- Keeping fish which may potentially grow large in small aquariums.
- Not providing adequate hiding places so the fish feels more secure.
- Improper nutritional needs of the species or not feeding a varied
- Not providing a stable day/night cycle in the aquarium. (lighting times)
- Allowing small children to treat the fish tank as a toy to play with or
continually startle the fish.