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Marine Aquaria and
Miniature Reefs

Dynamic Aquaria : Building
Living Ecosystems

Aquarium Plants: The
Practical Guide

Handbook of Fish Diseases

Fish diseases (general guide for fresh water fish)

Why fish get sick      What might have triggered the problem


Why fish get sick
All living things are subject to disease, and fish are no exception. Fish generally have
great resistance and when they succumb to parasites, fungi, or virus infections it is
usually because they have been weekend by a poor environment. Unsuitable food, 
lack of oxygen, temperatures to high or too low, and other contributing factors are all 
the result of the keeper. Most ailments can be avoided.

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What might have triggered the problem
Should you notice your fish exhibiting any of these symptoms consider carefully 
what might have triggered the problem:

1. At any new fish, plants, or water of doubtful purity been added to the aquarium,
possibly introducing parasites or disease?

2. Has the tank environment deteriorated? Do the fish have plenty of room and 
adequate aeration?

3. Have you been feeding inferior or improper food or polluting the water by adding 
more food than the fish can consume?

4. Have the fish been receiving insufficient light or have they been "cooking" in a 

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The Symptoms 
Symptoms to watch for in your tropical fish include the following:

1. Loss of appetite
2. Sluggish and aimless swimming
3. Folded dorsal or caudal fin
4. Hanging from the surface or lying on the bottom
5. Slow reactions to disturbances
6. Rubbing against surfaces as of trying to scrape something off the body
7. Loss of luster
8. Ragged fans, lesions, white spots, or growths of any kind
9. Bloating or emaciation
10. Bulging eyes.

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Consideration of these points might give a clue as to what is wrong with the fish. 
Often the trouble can be cured by remedy in the flaw in the environment. Sometimes
chemical treatment is necessary.

The aquarist is well advised to use drugs labeled for specific problems. Be wary of any
substance that is claimed to be a cure for everything.

Medicines are usually administered by dissolving them in the water. If the substance is 
to be dissolved be sure that there are no particles remaining or these may be eaten by 
the fish with disastrous results. Solutions can be filtered before adding them to the tank.

If individual fishes are suffering, isolate them immediately. If an entire tank or pond is
affected then large-scale measures must be taken. Consult a book on fish disease or 
your local aquarium shop for help in identifying and treating fish diseases.

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