Freshwater Aquarium Fish Diseases

Fish are often considered a simple pet but, like any other animal, they need to be properly cared for. When freshwater fish are not properly cared for, they can face a wide range of health issues. If you own a freshwater aquarium or are looking into getting one, you need to know what sorts of things to look out for and what can affect the health of your fish.

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How Can I Prevent Health Issues In My Fish?

There are many things that can be done to keep your fish as happy and healthy as possible. First, make sure your fish are getting access to a proper diet. Also, make sure to regularly check the water quality in your fish tank. Make sure the aquarium has a quality filter and the water level and temperature is optimal to reduce stress on your fish. Make sure you are regularly observing your fish to ensure they are all getting along and none of them appear stressed. If you notice any symptoms of disease, address them immediately as outcomes are often better with early detection. Finally, it is a good idea to quarantine any new fish to ensure you are not introducing a sick fish to an aquarium. It is also a good idea to have remedies to common ailments on hand.
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What Sort of Health Issues Do Fish Face?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. Different species of fish are susceptible to different diseases and require different care. It is important to research the common health issues that affect every type of fish you are caring for. Read on to learn a little about some of the more common freshwater fish diseases.
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What Is Dropsy?

Dropsy is a disease common in fancy goldfish. It refers to swelling due to kidney disease. Symptoms include mild to severe swelling of the abdomon which can cause the fish’s scales to stick straight out. Dropsy can be caused by stress or polycistic kidney disease. To treat Dropsy, the stressor must be eliminated. Start by putting the fish in a quarentine tank to see if the fish’s condition improves. If the fish starts to get better in the new tank, the stressor is the main tank and needs to be addressed. Ultimately, because Dropsy can be life threatening to a fish, it is best to see a vet as soon as possible if your fish is showing signs.
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What Is Hole In the Head Disease?

Hole In the Head disease is common in Discus fish. The most common symptom is visible indents along the fish’s head and lateral line. The indents get worse over time and sometimes allifcted fish will stop eating. It can be caused by issues with the tank’s water or by a protozoan called Hexamita. If your fish is showing symptoms of Hole in the Head Disease, the best treartment is a quarentine tank and a Metronidazole treatment.
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What are Internal Parasites?

Internal parasites are exactly what they sound like: parasites that live inside your fish and negatively affect it. The most visible symptom or internal parasites is weight loss. If your fish has a healthy appetite but is maintaining a stubbornly low weight, yoru fish may have internal parasites. You can also tell from your fish’s waste. If your fish’s fecal matter is stringy and white, your fish may be infected with internal parasites. Internal parasites can typically be treated with Metroplex.
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What Is Freshwater Ich?

Freshwater Ich—or Ichthyobodo— is a protozoen parasite that affects many types of freshwater fish due to stress. It attacks the gills and skin of fish and will cause the infected fish to have a greyish appearance. Infected fish are often lethargic, weak, and lack an appetite. They may spend a lot of time at the surface of the tank, gulping for air or rub their sides against the glass of the tank. Many stressor can lead to freshwater ich including overcrowding, illness, or poor water conditions. Stress lowers the fish’s immune response and allows tha parasite to take over. If you suspect your fish has freshwater ich, see a vetrinary immediately. They will often need a specific water treatment.
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What Is Swim Bladder Disease?

Swim bladder disease is a common illness that affects fish. The swim bladder is the organ holds oxygen and other gases that allow your fish to maintain buoyancy. When the swim bladder is not functioning properly, a fish may have trouble maintaining its ideal depth. If your fish is having trouble staying upright in the tank or is spending a lot of the time near the top of the tank, they have Swim Bladder Disease. Swim Bladder Disease is often caused by poor water quality. It can occur in new fish if they are poorly transferred to their new tank. If you are seeing symptoms of Swim Bladder disease, check the water quality in the tank first. Swim bladder disease can be treated by a veterinarian.
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What Are Anchor Worms?

Anchor worms, contrary to their name, are worms at all. They are large, parasitic crustaceans that often affect pond fish. They attach themselves to fish’s skin and bury their heads in a fish’s muscles. You may be able to see the parasite on your fish if you look closely enough. The look like whitish, freen threads. Common symptoms of Anchor Worms are red and inflamed scales and your fish will likely be rubbing itself against its tank. If a larger fish becomes infected with Anchor worms, the parasite can typically be removed by pulling the body of the parasite out of the fish and applying a topical antibiotic ointment to the fish’s scales. It is also a good idea to clean the entire tank to ensure there are no larvae or eggs of the parasite left.
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There are ways to treat freshwater fish diseases but it is always better to try and prevent your fish from getting sick whenever possible. Keeping your fish healthy involves proper care. It also invovles responsible sourcing. Some pet stores sell fish that have not been well cared for and are already sick. The iFISH Store, however, offers a wide selection of fish from aquatic specialists. Our fish are thriving and healthy because, aside from always being lovingly cared for, they are imported from partners who must meet very strict guidelines. With The iFISH Store, you can create a dream aquarium with happy and healthy fish. If you want to add to your aquarium or have more questions about common diseases in freshwater fish, give us a call!
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