Caring for Sick Fish

Keeping a fish tank is a wonderful and relaxing hobby, but it
can turn stressful if your fish start to die off. The most
common cause of fish disease is poor water quality so it is
vital that you perform regular maintenance on the tank, making
sure you do a partial water change periodically and clean out
any waste or uneaten food so it does not decay and poison the

Many fish disease can be halted if you provide treatment as
soon as you see any signs of your fish being sick. Therefore,
it is important that you monitor your fish each day to see if
there are any signs of illness.

Some common symptoms of disease are listed below.

White dots, sometimes fuzzy looking, almost like grains of
salt on your fish. This disease is called Ichthyophthirius), or
simply Ich. It is a rather common disease and is caused by poor
water quality or can effect your fish when it’s immune system
is not functioning up to par due to stress. It can be treated
easily if you catch it in time. There is a special solution you
can buy at the pet store to medicate your tank and, hopefully,
get rid of this problem.

Gray patches on the skin, looks cottony and can be around the
gills. This is a fungus also caused by excess fish waste and
food decaying in the bottom of the tank. You can buy treatment
for it and it should clear up easily unless you have let it go
too far. In the future remember to clean the tank each week so
you do not have a reoccurrence.

If your fish seem like they are gasping for air, this could be
simply due to lack of oxygen in the water and not necessarily a
disease. You could add an airstone to see if that helps the
problem. Make sure you do not overcrowd the tank with too many

If you see your fish scraping itself agains the bottom of the
tank or the decorations, it’s possible that he has a parasite
called Flukes. These attack the gills and skin and are rather
difficult to get rid of once your tank is infected. Again, poor
water quality will make this much worse. They do sell medication
for the tank and you may be able to clear it up if you treat the
tank at the first sign of trouble.

Rotting fins are sometimes seen if the fish is under stress and
also if the water quality is substandard. It is a bacteria that
is attacking the fins and you must treat the tank at the first
sign of this problem. If possible, isolate the affected fish to
another tank to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

To insure that you always have healthy fish, you should keep
the tank clean and religiously perform partial water changes.
This will not only keep your fish happy but will make for a
better looking tank as well!

About The Author: Lee Dobbins is a pet lover and owner of where you can learn to setup
your freshwater aquarium. Find out more about fish disease at

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