Have you noticed something off with the appearance of the fish in your tank at home? A difference in appearance or activity of your fish may be caused by a common pet fish disease. Fortunately these can be easily prevented the signs are identified quickly. Learning about the signs of common fish diseases can help you to save your pet and also prevent illnesses spreading to other fish in the same tank.
Common Pet Fish Diseases:
1. Bacterial Infection – Dropsy
Have you noticed that your fish has swollen up like balloon? The fish could be experiencing a common bacterial infection identified as dropsy. This infection affects the function of the kidneys, causing bloating. Treated with antibiotics that are dropped into the water, caught early enough it isn’t threatening to the fish living in the tank. Common antibiotics used in cases of dropsy are tetracycline.
2. Fin Rot
Tanks that aren’t up to par with health conditions are susceptible to ‘fin rot’. High levels of bacteria in the water cause the fins to appear as if they are rotting away and ragged around the edges of the fins. Simply changing the water isn’t enough for fish that are experiencing the symptoms, and the water must be treated using antibiotic drops. Maintaining a clean living space for the fish can help prevent rot through the tail and fin area.
Be careful when diagnosing tail or fin rot, as it can sometimes be caused by aggression in the fish tank. Aggressive fish that nibble on the tails or fins create a ragged appearance. Before making the diagnosis and buying antibiotic drops, monitor the activity in the fish tank and look for signs of aggressive fish.
3. Viral Infections
Viral infections can cause large white growths that resemble cauliflower to appear on the body of the fish. The most common infection is referred as lymphocystis and can remain on the body of the fish for months at a time. There is no known treatment for the condition, and like viral conditions in humans it will eventually enter remission and the growths will subside if the fish is placed in a tank or bowl away from other fish.
4. Fish Pop Eye
Infections throughout the eye area can cause the eyes of the fish to appear bulging. Caught early enough, this infection can be easily treated by reducing the infection and therefore allowing the fluid build-up around the eye to decrease and eradicate the infection.
Fish pop eye should be treated promptly. Without prompt and proper treatment the fish can lose the sight in the eye suffering from the bulge, and the infection can move from one eye to the other. In severe cases, the infection can even be spread to other fish that are living in the tank.
The fish should be removed from the area and put into water treated with antibacterial drops to remove the infection. Epsom salts can be used to draw out the fluid from the eye area.
Over crowding the fish tank or having fish in extremely poor conditions can result in the fish developing tuberculosis. Common symptoms include a hollow appearance through the torso, ulcers on the surface of the fish’s scales, lack of appetite and a pale appearance of colour-fish. Fish that are sensitive to changes in the environment are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis, treated with drops containing B-6 for thirty to forty five days, until the symptoms begin to subside.
Proper care for the fish tank including changing the water, using an adequate filtration system and introducing fish into the environment that naturally ‘clean’ it can help to reduce the chances of the fish developing these illnesses.
About The Author
Kate Brown writes about care and maintenance tips to help people improve the life expectancy and well being of their pets. Her site features articles on popular freshwater fish species including puffers and fancy guppies.