Monday, May 18, 2009

Fish Disease Diagnosis

By Sampson Zelder

Did you know that most aquarium diseases could be easily prevented? Many aquarium fish diseases are caused by poor water quality. Healthy fish are amazingly resilient and able to fight off the majority of diseases, but stressed fish in unhealthy environments can easily die quickly and spread infections to all your other fish.

Another cause of disease can be buying an already-diseased fish from a store and entering it to your aquarium to spread to your previously healthy fish. Before buying any new fish you should always check the condition of all the fish within the tank before you make your selection. No matter how healthy the fish you purchase might seem, if another fish in that buying tank has a disease then it could potentially spread to all other fish.

Common Aquarium Fish Diseases:

Fin Rot: Fin rot is manifested by a form of bacteria that eats away your fishs fins. When fish are injured or stressed they are more likely to develop fin rot. Keep your aquarium water clean and be sure any injured fish are isolated in separate tanks until they show signs of recovery or you risk making all your fish ill.

White Spot: White spot presents as tiny white dots on your fishs scales. These dots arent fungus or bacteria. Theyre actually parasites called Ichtyopthirius and they attach themselves to your fishs scales so they can eat the soft flesh beneath. This can make your fish quite sick and even kill them, so be sure you monitor your fish carefully for signs of white spot.

Hole In The Head: If you notice any tiny dimples or dents in the sides of your fishs head then they could be suffering from hole in the head. The primary cause of this is usually incorrect nitrate-levels within your tank water. Always be sure you monitor the nitrate and ammonia levels within your water. Clean water regularly and check that the temperature is correct.

Fungus: Fungal growths often appear in fish as fine little fluffy bits of cotton growing around wounds or injuries. If you introduce a new fish from the store with a fungal infection into your tank, you risk spreading that fungus to any other fish in that tank that may have scratches or injuries too. Change your water immediately and monitor any fish that display white fluffy growths.

Fish living in well-maintained aquariums suffer very few illnesses. However tanks that arent cleaned, regulated and monitored regularly can easily spread several diseases among your fish, killing most of them or at least making them very ill. Always remember that fish naturally live in balanced ecological conditions, so try to keep your aquarium as close to those natural conditions as you can and you should enjoy healthy fish for a long time to come.

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