Health Care & Diseases
Hobbyists who take very good care of their tanks will rarely encounter a sick fish. Almost all health problems can be avoided by taking some preventative measures. Keep reading to learn how to prevent many medical issues, how to spot problems early on, and how to treat common fish diseases.
Pay Attention to Your Fish
To recognize problems that develop, you will need to have an understanding of what normal is for your fish. Also, there are certain things all fish never (or at least very rarely) do. For example, fish never normally gasp at the surface. Fish will only gasp at the surface if they are suffocating because of poor oxygenation, parasites, damage to their gills, etc. Other behaviors that are cause for immediate concern include shimmying, cowering, or dashing around the aquarium. If your fish exhibit any of these behaviors, consider speaking to an expert as soon as possible for assistance with a diagnosis.
Ich is named for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, the parasite that causes ich. Symptoms of ich include small, raised white spots on the body and fins, making it one of the few fish ailments that is easily identifiable. Any species can be affected by ich, and if you think one of your fish might be infected, you will need to treat all of the fish in your tank, as ich is highly contagious.
Fungus shows up as a white growth on fish, appearing sort of like cotton. An infection of fungus often follows another infection or injury, usually on a fish's lips or fins. Although fungus is not generally contagious, a fish suffering from fungus should immediately be moved to another tank and treated with a fish medication that is specifically formulated for fungus.