Guide: Identifying and treating fish diseases

Identification Of Common Fish Diseases:


External signs of a problem:

Clamped fins, floating/ sinking, anxiety, gasping at the surface/ struggle to breathe, visible white or red spots, red streaks or red patches, fish refusing to eat, white or stringy feces, swollen abdomen.


Water Quality:

What are levels for pH, GH ammonia, nitrate and nitrate? What is the water temperature? Make sure these are all in the right range for your fish.


Common Fish Diseases



Ecto-parasites such as: Ich, flukes, fish lice & endoparasites (internal parasites) which can lead to hole-in- the-head disease and bloat


Bacterial Infections:

Fin Rot, Hemorrhagic Septecemia & Dropsy, Wasting disease/ Fish TB


Fungal Infections:

Body fungus


Treatment Methods:


Prevention: The best treatment is prevention!!

  • Always quarantine new fish
  • When buying new fish observe the fish before purchasing
  • Maintain water quality
  • Avoid acute exposure to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate
  • Keep temperature consistent
  • Keep pH consistent
  • Good nutrition: provide a wide range of nutrients to maintain health


Aquarium Salt

  • Aquarium Salt can be therapeutic to fish and can help soothe the symptoms of infection



  • The progression of the life cycle of many external parasites can be expedited by raising temperatures



  • Medications can be used to treat specific illnesses. Use medications with caution and be mindful that many treatments will not be safe for plants or invertebrates so choose appropriately



There are many key ways to keep a healthy aquarium and by doing routine water changes and feeding a well balanced diet you will help your fish to stay healthy.

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