Are Your Fish Sick?

By Yaat

Keeping a fish tank is a wonderful and relaxing hobby, but it can turn stressful if your fish start to die off. The most common cause of fish disease is poor water quality so it is vital that you perform regular maintenance on the tank, making sure you do a partial water change periodically and clean out any waste or uneaten food so it does not decay and poison the water.

Fish death aquarium tank is one of common challenges faced by aquarists. There are number of factors that could be responsible for the deaths experienced.  One of them being they falling sick.

Many fish disease can be halted if you provide treatment as soon as you see any signs of your fish being sick. Therefore, it is important that you monitor your fish each day to see if there are any signs of illness.

Some common symptoms of disease are listed below.

White dots – sometimes fuzzy looking, almost like grains of salt on your fish. This disease is called Ichthyophthirius), or simply Ich. It is a rather common disease and is caused by poor water quality or can effect your fish when it’s immune system is not functioning up to par due to stress. It can be treated easily if you catch it in time.

There is a special solution you can buy at the pet store to medicate your tank and, hopefully, get rid of this problem.

Gray patches on the skin, looks cottony and can be around the gills. This is a fungus also caused by excess fish waste and food decaying in the bottom of the tank. You can buy treatment for it and it should clear up easily unless you have let it go too far. In the future remember to clean the tank each week so you do not have a reoccurrence.

If your fish seem like they are gasping for air, this could be simply due to lack of oxygen in the water and not necessarily a disease. You could add an airstone to see if that helps the problem. Make sure you do not overcrowd the tank with too many fish.

If you see your fish scraping itself agains the bottom of the tank or the decorations, it’s possible that he has a parasite called Flukes. These attack the gills and skin and are rather difficult to get rid of once your tank is infected. Again, poor water quality will make this much worse. Make sure that you have the best canister filter for you tank installed to ensure good water quality.

They do sell medication for the tank and you may be able to clear it up if you treat the tank at the first sign of trouble.

Rotting fins are sometimes seen if the fish is under stress and also if the water quality is substandard. It is a bacteria that is attacking the fins and you must treat the tank at the first sign of this problem. If possible, isolate the affected fish to another tank to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

To insure that you always have healthy fish, you should keep the tank clean and religiously perform partial water changes. This will not only keep your fish happy but will make for a better looking tank as well!

The Do’s
•Do buy a good book on marine aquarium keeping. This should be your first purchase and most valuable accessory!

•Do look at your tank every day to check your fish and invertebrates health. Are they acting differently than normal, do they have any damage or signs of illness etc

•Do react quickly when you think something is wrong. Test your water quality and conditions. Look for indicators of problem or disease. Read your aquarium books, search the internet and talk to your friendly marine aquarium retailer for advice.

•Do adopt a photoperiod that considers the output and intensity of your lights and either mimics the inhabitants natural environment or that of your local environment

•Do wash your hands before putting them in the tank or working with any equipment that will come into contact with your tanks water. Soaps, creams, medicines etc can all harm your inhabitants.

The Don’ts

•Don’t overfeed. This is most probably one of the most common mistakes for a beginner. Fish always appear hungry and it is very tempting to feed them often but this can cause all sorts or problems – the most common being poor water quality. If nor corrected this can lead to sickness and death of your fish and inverts in a short time. If you are going to very often then ensure you only feed small amounts and that it all gets eaten immediately. Also test your water quality often (eg test ammonia, nitrite and nitrates at least a couple of times a week).

•Don’t overstock you tank. This is also one of the most common mistakes for beginners. Tanks can only successfully support a certain amount of life in them and this is based upon a number of factors. Some of these are volume, surface area, aeration, circulation, filtration (mechanical and biological), maturity, quantity and frequency of water changes, flow, number of fish and inverts etc etc. It is better to start slow and small and build your way up. Talk to your local marine aquarium retailer for advice on stocking levels.

Don’t use water from your tap without treating it and testing it. Some local water supplies have unwanted chemicals such as copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Ammonia (NH4), Nitrites (NO2), Nitrates (NO3) and heavy metals in them. They all have chlorine and chloramines in them and need to be removed before being added to the aquarium (or even mixing salt in - remove the chlorine first)

About the Author

Doug Kamp has been keeping aquariums for 30 years, the last 15 of those being mainly marine aquariums. Doug is the proprietor of Aquariums Online which is an online mail order business based in Perth Australia

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