Diseases, Parasites and other Maladies


This section will discuss ailments that affect the fish kept in our aquariums. I will simply not call them diseases because most are not true diseases but a response to some sort of stimuli such as poor tank water management or the presence of actual parasites. I will list the most common ailments, the reasons behind them and the appropriate action needed to “fix” the problem.

If you maintain good water quality, keep the right kind of fish together, feed good quality food and monitor all your water properties you will rarely have any problems. A few common sense precautions when you purchase new fish can save you a lot of trouble.

A few things to observe:

  1. Are the fish active?
  2. Are they eating?
  3. Are there any scars, spots or open wounds?
  4. Are the gills nice and pink?
  5. Are the fins wide open, not clamped close to the body?

All of these and more should be closely looked at before you buy any fish and never buy a fish that does not look or act right and “cure” it at home! One last important thing, check out the stores filtration system. If the system is a central one be sure to check out all the tanks for signs of parasites as many are free swimming at some point in their lives, and they could move freely from tank to tank.

Once you decide to purchase the fish a few more precautions should be taken in order to keep risk at a minimum.

  1. Slowly acclimate the fish to your tank water.
  2. Use an antibiotic dip if you can.
  3. Ideally have a quarantine tank set up.
  4. Isolate the fish for two weeks in the quarantine tank.
  5. Keep a close eye on the fish once it’s in your tank.
  6. Prevention is better than intervention.

These are basic common sense guidelines that can save you fish, plants and money if properly followed. If you find yourself confronted with one of these ailments or some other not described here, please click on the button below for a comprehensive guide to some of the most popular medications available for our use.

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