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October 27, 2020
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Introduction to aquarium fish diseases and treatments.

There are literally hundreds of afflictions that can effect the health of your fish. The most common maladies seen in home aquaria are usually either bacterial or parasitic in origin. Fungal infections are also sometimes seen, and occasionally physical ailments.

Luckily, most fish ailments are easily diagnosed and can be treated with success. The most common of these afflictions are included here. How to prevent fish disease has steps you can take to reduce the possibility of disease and help to keep disease from spreading if it should occure. A table of contents is provided along with a diagnostic chart with links to appropriate medications.

Understanding how an aquarium and its filtration work to support aquatic life is vital in preventing fish ailments. The basics of life support are the same whether you have a freshwater aquarium, saltwater aquarium, or a mini reef.

How to Prevent Fish Diseases Some steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of your fish getting a disease. Following these precautions can also help keep fish diseases from spreading if they do occur.
  • Buy only good-quality, compatible fish.
  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to the aquarium. (A hospital tank can be used for this).
  • Avoid stressing the fish with rough handling, sudden changes in conditions, or "bully" tankmates.
  • Don't overfeed your fish.
  • Remove sick fish to a hospital tank for treatment.
  • Disinfect nets used to move sick fish.
  • Don't transfer water from the quarantine tank to the main aquarium.
  • Don't let any metal come in contact with the aquarium water.
  • Anti-biotics: When using any anti-biotic, make sure the biological filtration in your aquarium is not destroyed. You want to be certain the treatment does not kill the nitrifying bacteria in your system at the same time it attacks harmful bacteria on your fish. Although most of the treatments available at the store state that they will not harm your biological filter, sometimes they wil.Fish Antibiotics It is best to either monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels, or use an ammonia remover such as "AmQuel" to be sure your levels of ammonia don't become a problem.
  • Copper Treatments: When using any medication which has copper as an ingredient, be aware that most plants will not do as well. Invertebrates, such as snails, can also be killed if the amount of copper is sufficient. Indeed, most snail removers are copper based.

Diagnostic Chart

If you notice something is wrong with your fish, a proper diagnoses is usually all you need to worry about. In most cases, a proprietary treatment (fish medications) purchased at a pet store will work very well.

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