Is my fish sick? Determining whether your pet fish has some type of disease can be difficult. However, it’s important to find this out as soon as possible in order to treat your fish before the disease gets worse. By knowing fish disease symptoms, you’re more likely to be able to respond in enough time to save its life. Here are some common signs of disease in pet fish.
If your pet fish is new, you may not have gotten to know its regular behavior yet—or maybe you’re simply worried about its health shortly after you bring it home. Whatever the case might be, make sure you get to know your fish’s behavior. You can do this by observing how it behaves at certain times throughout the day. Here are some clues to think about:
- Does your fish wake up at the same time every day?
- How does your fish act during the middle of the day?
- What is your fish’s favorite aquarium item to play with?
- How well does your fish eat throughout the day?
By paying attention to the patterns, you’ll know what to look for in order to determine whether or not your fish is healthy. Write down your fish’s behavior patterns throughout the day. If your fish seems to break those patterns, it could be a sign of disease.
You can often tell a lot about a fish’s health by studying its appearance. Some common features in fish include scales that overlap and that are covered by mucus; gills that help them breathe; nostrils; and a lateral line. Here are some examples of changes in appearance that may indicate disease:
- Misaligned scales
- Nonmoving gills
- Bent or curved spine
- Discoloration or white spots on scales
- Swollen belly
- Blood on body
- Bulging eyes
If you notice at least one of these signs, pay attention to how it affects your fish’s behavior. If your fish behaves much differently, it’s time to seek help for your fish. However, some of these signs might just be signs of your fish getting older.
If the water in your aquarium changes color overnight, this could be a sign and/or a cause of disease in your fish. Some causes of dirty water include fish waste and rotten food or fish parts. If you have more than one fish, perhaps only one fish is sick and causing this dirty water. If this is the case, the other fish might get sick, too. This is another reason why behavior pattern observation in fish is so important. Determining which fish (if any) has a disease that’s causing the dirty water can be difficult. Even if your fish isn’t the cause, outside causes such as parasites and bacteria can still affect water quality.
Ways to Prevent Fish from Disease
In order to protect your fish from disease, it’s important to take certain measures into your own hands when possible. Here are a few ways you can keep your fish healthy.
Research different diseases and symptoms
Before you fret about a sick fish, you should familiarize yourself with different diseases your fish could have. This way, you’ll have an idea of the severity of the disease and how to treat it. For instance, if your fish has a bacterial disease, you can treat this simply with Cephalexin fish antibiotics.
In addition to researching diseases, you should also find out if your fish has a disease or just one symptom of a disease. For instance, some fish have pop eye, which is simply a sign that there’s another problem with your fish. Too much in-depth research may make you feel overly worried, but do just enough to learn whether your fish needs help.
Quarantine your fish
If you have multiple fish and one seems unhealthy, quarantining this fish is a good idea. Then, clean out the aquarium and change the water for your other fish. This way, you can pay attention to all your fish equally and determine whether one or both has signs of disease. Another important thing to remember is that if your unhealthy-looking fish has a playmate, he or she might not have a disease at all—your fish might have been getting bullied. If this is the case, quarantining your fish will help you track their recovery. In the case of bullying, continue to keep your fish in separate aquariums.
Change aquarium water and watch its temperature and chemicals
A common cause of serious illnesses in fish include not only dirty water, but also water that’s not the right temperature. You should always keep your aquarium between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also add Tetra AquaSafe solution to keep your tank or aquarium clean. By cleaning your tank regularly, you’ll prevent bacterial infections and ammonia caused by fish waste.
Ask a fellow fish owner or a vet for advice
If you have a friend who also owns a fish, he or she may have dealt with diseases in their pet fish. Talking to someone who has been in your shoes before might put your mind at ease. Make sure you trust this person enough to follow his or her advice. If your friend’s previously ill fish is still living, it’s a sign that he or she did something right. In addition to talking to a friend, you could also talk to a pet store employee. Chances are he or she knows how to take care of fish.
If your fish is already sick, taking it to the vet is your best bet for preventing future diseases. Remember that vets care about your fish as much as you do. You should trust your vet enough to do what he or she tells you to do. If your fish has a bacterial infection, your vet may simply suggest treating it with general antibiotics.
Hopefully, this gives you a clear picture of the common fish disease symptoms in pet fish. For a wide variety of fish antibiotics and aquarium products, check out eFish Mox today.