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Are Your Fish Sick?

Monday, September 27, 2010

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.

Many fish diseases 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.

Fish Habitat by cskk

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 affect your fish when its 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 re-occurrence.

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 against 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. 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!

About the Author
Lee Dobbins is a pet lover and owner of where you can learn to setup your freshwater aquarium. Find out more about fish disease at

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