Freshwater Fish Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Freshwater Fish Disease Symptoms and Treatment

You will find here freshwater fish diseases, their common name, symptoms and treatment options for your sick freshwater fish. Before you use any medication on your tank make sure that you have properly diagnosed the freshwater fish disease and try to figure out why your tropical fish have the disease or problem to start. Many diseases are brought on by the fish being stressed due to transport or water quality issues. If you’ve just set up your tank, please read about new tank syndrome.
It’s a very good idea to have a small quarantine tank for new fish so that you may monitor the fish for a few weeks before adding the fish to your main tank. You can also use the quarantine tank for your fish that come down with a freshwater fish disease and can avoid adding chemicals to your main tank. Always practice good fish acclimation techniques and don’t rush things.
Try to determine the underlying problem before medicating. Often times there are water quality issues that need to be remedied first. Get and use an aquarium test kit and take the appropriate measures to correct the water in your aquarium.
Whenever you use any type of medication on your tropical fish, first remove any carbon in your filtration system. If left in, the carbon will remove the medication from the water, doing you no good. Read the directions on the medication bottle very carefully!
It is advisable that you determine the cause of the freshwater fish disease, fix any obvious problem(s) (water quality problems and tank mates), figure out which disease your fish has by closely observing the symptoms and then treat only if necessary.
Altered or decreased activity : These are common signs of disease, but they are not specific to one disease and may be seen with poor water quality, various infectious diseases and many other problems.
Clamped fins : This is a nonspecific sign that can be seen with a variety of diseases.
Flashing or glancing. The act of fish rubbing up against objects in the aquarium may be a sign of irritated skin. This is commonly observed with fish afflicted with external parasites.
Isolation : With fish that normally school, an individual isolating itself from the group can be an early indication of disease.
Respiration concerns. Gasping for air at the surface is a sign of either poor water quality (including low dissolved oxygen) or gill disease (parasites, bacteria, viruses). Also look for increased breathing rates and crowding near the filter return at the top of the water column.
Skin lesions : Skin lesions are one of the most common signs of disease and are often the first problem observed by hobbyists.
Fish ailments can be broadly categorised into 4 general types viz., bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic or protozoan infections, and physical ailments and wounds.
Bacterial Diseases: Bacterial diseases are usually characterized by red streaks or spots and / or swelling of the abdomen or eye. Inactivity, loss of color, frayed fins, bloated body, cloudy eyes, open sores, abscesses, red streaks throughout body, reddening or inflammation of the skin, fins or internal organs, bulging eyes, difficulty breathing. These are best treated by antibiotics.
Fungal Diseases: Erratic swimming, darting, scratching, visible cotton-like tufts on skin, eyes, or mouth. Common fungal infections often look like gray or white fluffy patches.
Parasitic Diseases: Inactivity, loss of appetite, excess mucus or film on body, visible spots or worms, rapid breathing, scratching. The most common parasitic disease called “Ich” can be treated most effectively with copper or malachite green in the right dosage. Most treatments will have copper as an ingredient. If the treatment you use is an anti-biotic or copper based, remember to remove all carbon from the filtration system, as its presence will prevent the medicine from being effective.
Physical Ailments: Physical Ailments are often the result of the environment. Poor quality water conditions can lead to fish gasping, not eating, jumping out of the tank, and more. Tank mate problems can result in nipped fins and bite wounds.
There are certain precaution, which you could take to prevent Fish Diseases and also help keep fish diseases from spreading if they do occur.

1. Buy only good-quality and compatible fish to avoid stress amongst the tank mates. Educate yourself about any special needs a species may have.
2. Quarantine new fish before adding them to the aquarium. (A quarantine or a hospital tank can be used for this).
3. Avoid stressing the fish with rough handling, sudden changes in conditions, or “bully” tank-mates.
4. Feed a balanced and varied diet consisting of commercially prepared foods (e.g., flake, frozen, freeze dried), supplemented with live foods, and avoid overfeeding.
5. Observe your fish regularly to monitor changes in behaviour or for symptoms of disease. Immediately remove sick fish to a hospital tank for treatment.
6. Always disinfect nets used to remove sick fish from aquarium.
7. Never transfer diseased water from the quarantine tank to the main aquarium tank.
8. Never let any metal to come in contact with the aquarium water.

9. Equipment shared between aquariums, such as nets, etc., should be soaked in water above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for several minutes or soaked in a weak bleach solution. Use liberal amounts of fresh water to remove any residual chlorine.
10. Maintain excellent water quality and perform frequent water changes. Monitor water quality weekly and keep a log to monitor changes.
11. While using any anti-biotic, make sure the biological filtration in your aquarium is not affected. You should ensure that the treatment does not kill the nitrifying bacteria in your system. Although most of the treatments available will not harm your biological filter, sometimes they might adversely affect the Biological status of the aquarium. It is important that you read the instructions on the medicine before using the same. It is advisable that you monitor ammonia and nitrite levels, or use an ammonia remover to be sure that the levels of ammonia don’t become a problem.

12. While using any medication which has copper as an ingredient, be aware that most plants are likely to be affected by its usages. Further, Invertebrates, such as snails, such medication can be fatal. That’s why most snail removers are copper based.

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