Fish Health – Tropical Fish Diseases
If you keep tropical fish, you will definitely want to learn more about tropical fish diseases.
When tropical fish are in the wild, they usually have very clean water with low hardness that is highly oxygenated. They have a large area to swim around and eat. and of course, leave their droppings. The chances of contaminating their water is not very high.
On the other hand, when fish are in an aquarium, they are confined to a much smaller space, and the water can become contaminated quickly. When the water becomes polluted enough, microorganisms and dangerous toxins can easily harm the fish. There are many diseases that tropical fish are prone to, but there are preventative measures that can help keep diseases at bay.
When purchasing a fish, there are simple signs that can tip you off to an existing problem. Watch to see if the fish are active, whether they have any open wounds or sores, and whether their gills and fins are healthy and functioning properly.
A big factor in fish health is the water quality. Keeping the water clean and clear is the first step in preventing diseases in your tropical fish. Make sure to also monitor the pH of the water and also watch the levels of certain elements such as nitrites, nitrates, dissolved oxygen and ammonia. A fish who seems sluggish or inactive, or is gasping for air towards the top of the tank may be suffering from poor water quality.
Another problem area can be stress. Fish can become stressed out in overcrowded environments. When introducing new fish to a tank, it is advisable to introduce a few at a time, quite slowly. Adding too many fish at once can actually cause the fish to have lowered immune systems and this makes them more prone to disease.
There is another reason to introduce fish slowly: some of the new fish may actually be unhealthy. By adding fish a few at a time, the healthy fish can sometimes adapt.
Finrot is a well-known tropical fish disease. It can be either fungal or bacterial. The fungal version looks like cotton on the fins. First, add about one teaspoon per gallon of water to the tank. This will start the healing process. Then you can swab the area with malachite green directly. Or, if you are not able to get hold of the fish to do this, there are store-bought preparations which can be used.
The bacterial version of finrot can be contagious and should be treated with antibiotics. It is important to place the fish in a separate tank while treatment takes place.
Another common tropical fish disease is dropsy. Fish with dropsy swell up and their eyes bulge out. This can be caused by infection or high nitrate content in the water. Dropsy can be treated with antibiotics.
Although there are several tropical fish diseases, most can be avoided through prevention and by examining fish carefully before purchasing them.