Common diseases of tropical fish and what to do concerning them

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While tropical fish can be a wonderful hobby that many people take pleasure in, they also can be susceptible to diseases that if not caught early on can lead to early death of the fish and danger of it spreading to other fish in the same environment. Even though there are literally hundreds of diseases that tropical fish can acquire, there is usually only a handful that most owners have to be on the watch for. Let’s look at some of them and help you recognize how to identify them.

* Sometimes, straight from the store, fish will die. This is usually caused by something that is termed “new tank syndrome” and while not a disease as we usually think of them, it can be a problem unless you learn how to avoid it. All new fish should be introduced slowly to any environment. A minimum of 24-48 hours of keeping the bag the fish is in from the store emerged in the new water will usually take care of this setback. On the other hand, if it persists it could be a warning that the water is not the right temperature for them to survive or that there are contaminants in the water that is causing the sudden demise.

* If you see something that looks like wool or cotton on the fish that does not mean they are preparing for winter. It is a sign of an infection and if caught early enough can be treated with an anti-fungal and/or a salt bath. Most experts recommend the anti-fugal treatment, and many pet and fish stores can advise what is best for your environment.

* White spots on tropical fish are a very widespread disease that has a habit of showing up in new aquariums. This is usually an indication that a parasite is making its home in your aquarium. Again, there are a number of treatments on hand for this and many stores advise that new aquariums be treated before any fish are introduced.

* If your fish appear bloated this is a symptom of a bacterial infection. It may also be indicated by what appears to be raised fins. Most of the time the cause is poor water conditions. Check your filter and if necessary, upgrade the filter to handle your aquarium size. There are medications obtainable but they rarely work unless the root cause (poor water) is resolved.

* If your fish appear to have flaking scales, or dull color this can also be a sign of poor water conditions or the presence of parasites. The parasites carry a disease known as slime disease and there are medications available for this. The poor water can be solved as noted above.

We’ve given you a quick summary of some of the more common conditions you may notice in your aquarium with your tropical fish. By making sure you keep on top of the general health of your fish you can make sure that they will provide years of pleasure and beauty in your home or workplace.

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