The most common diseases of aquarium fish: how to protect and cure them?


Causes and types of diseases of aquarium fish

The health of aquarium fish largely depends on the conditions in which they live. During transportation, for example, it is easy to damage the fragile and vulnerable body of a pet, and it can be injured. When parasites get into the water, the fish are also in danger. During mating games, males often injure each other. As you can see, there are many reasons for the occurrence of diseases in fish.

Many aquarists have encountered diseases of aquarium inhabitants at least once. Diseases of ornamental fish can be divided into two groups:
► contagious (caused by fungus or bacteria),
► not infectious (unfavorable conditions in the aquarium).

Diseases can also be:
► internal,
► external (fins, scales, etc. are affected).
External ones are always healed easier and faster than internal ones. The main thing is to notice the first symptoms in time and start treatment.

The most common diseases of scaly pets are:
► fin rot (pseudomonosis),
► ichthyophthyriosis,
► white-skinned

Fin rot is an infectious but curable disease. It is caused by Pseudomonas, Aeromonas bacteria, as well as Vibrionaceae vibrios, common in natural bodies of water, which can enter the home aquarium from soil, water or live food. The most vulnerable to fin rot are labyrinthine, neon, and viviparous ornamental fish. Adult fish survive, having overcome the disease, more often than young fish.

Ichthyophthyriosis is caused by single-celled ciliates Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, freely floating in water. Causes of infection: new residents who have not been quarantined for 2 weeks are moved into the aquarium. Single-celled organisms can be found both on plants and on decorations placed in the aquarium. Ciliates infect fish and hide under the epithelium of its skin and gill fins. Ichthyophthiriasis is a contagious disease that can be transmitted to other inhabitants of the aquarium and cause mass death of fish.

White-skinned is a dangerous infectious, contagious disease that causes rapid death of fish. The causative agent is the bacterium Pseudomonas dermoalba. Infection occurs from the introduction of new inhabitants of the aquarium, if they have not been quarantined before; if disinfection was carried out improperly; if dead fish have not been removed from the aquarium for a long time.

Symptoms and diagnosis of diseases

If you suspect that your scales are sick, you should contact a veterinarian who specializes in fish health. But what if a specialist is not available for some reason? You can try to independently identify the disease by its most characteristic manifestations - symptoms.

The alarm should be sounded if your pets exhibit unusual behavior. If an aquarium fish suddenly begins to refuse to eat, its color has faded, its fins visually begin to look worse, scales fall out, and the fish swims in some strange way - it’s time to take a closer look at its health.

How can you tell if your fish is developing fin rot? Pay attention to the following symptoms:
► clouding of the eyeballs (cornea);
► fins are destroyed, including the tail one (they become shorter and split);
► scales may fall out;
► red spots or stripes appear on the fish’s body;
► White ulcers appear on the body. Over time they increase in size;
► The fins darken, but may also develop a light blue border.

This is how the disease manifests itself on the outside. And this is what happens inside:
► the functioning of all organs is disrupted;
► the disease also affects the muscular system of the fish.

Ichthyophthiriasis in ornamental fish. If you see that the fish no longer reacts to you, does not eat food, and is instead busy rubbing itself on the ground of the aquarium, then these may be the first symptoms of ichthyophthyriosis. The scaly fish begins to greedily swallow air, and if previously it swam in the lower layers of the aquarium, now it stays closer to the surface or is constantly “interested” in aeration bubbles. Small oval, light-colored tubercles measuring from 0.5 to 1 mm appear on its body, and from a distance they look as if the fish had been rolled in semolina. If nothing is done, the pet can spread the infection throughout the entire aquarium and cause the death of other fish. The good news is that ichthyophthyriosis is far from the most dangerous disease.

White-skinned: symptoms. The fish becomes lethargic and apathetic, staying near the surface of the water, trying to keep its dorsal fin generally dry and not covered with water. The skin around the fin turns white, as well as on the back, as well as near the tail. This whitishness resembles a cloudy coating. The color of the fish's body becomes yellow. The white spot grows in size, and if you don’t hurry, the fish will die. In addition to all of the above, it is worth adding that with white skin the nervous system is also affected, the fish does not seem to understand where it is swimming, its movements become strange.

Treatment and prevention of diseases

So, we have decided on the symptoms. Now is the time to start l

If a suspicious fish exhibiting the above symptoms was found in your aquarium, you should urgently remove it from the rest and place it in another container with optimal conditions for this species for the duration of treatment.

Treatment of fin rot (pseudomonosis). How to deal with this disease? First of all, it is worth replacing the water in the aquarium by 30%. We increase the water temperature in the aquarium to 25 degrees, and the sick fish are placed in another container for quarantine. We restart the aquarium: that is, completely clean and disinfect it (along with all its contents). We give the fish antibiotics for pseudomonosis (Levomycytin, Streptocide, Biomitsin, Biseptol-480, etc. But it is best to consult a doctor!) and arrange salt baths for 5 days, daily, 30 minutes: for 2 liters of clean water 1 tsp salt.

Ichthyophthyriosis. We separate the sick fish from the rest. You can use table salt for treatment and give the patient a bath (in a regular 0.5 or 1 liter jar, if the size of the pet allows) in the ratio: 3 g per 1 liter of water. We prepare water at 28 degrees. We keep it in the salt bath for 1 minute, and then transplant it back into the quarantine container. The fish will have to splash around in the salt solution several more times. The aquarium water must be drained and the container thoroughly washed. The white spots should completely disappear after treatment. Each sick fish is processed separately in a salt bath! There is also a fairly wide list of medications for ichthyophthyriasis (or in common parlance “semolina”).

White-skinned: treatment. No one has canceled the quarantine aquarium for sick fish: we transplant the sick ones there, and the healthy fish into a separate container. In the meantime, we completely clean and disinfect the aquarium with all its contents: substrate, plants, decorations and equipment. We treat fish with baths with salt, chloramphenicol or potassium permanganate.

How to prevent the occurrence of diseases, since they are easier to prevent than to treat?
A few tips to help you protect your fish from diseases.

► During the mating season, remove the most aggressive and pugnacious male so that he does not harm the others. Care should also be taken to ensure that too many males do not live in one container, otherwise conflicts cannot be avoided.
► Avoid overcrowding the aquarium and regulate the number of fish.
► Monitor the pH balance of the water.
► There should be no sharp, protruding objects in the aquarium that could injure the fish.

► Be careful with live food! Buy it only from trusted places to avoid scaly infections.
► Keep the aquarium and the water in it clean. Remove excess uneaten food and rotting parts of plants in a timely manner.
► Fish need sufficient aeration. If the oxygen level in the water drops, hypoxia may develop; if it increases, it is also not good for the health of pets.
► Green up the aquarium, buy new types of algae if the fish house has no plants at all.
► Do not overfeed your fish! Remember that in addition to dry food, many of them feed on parts of algae, etc.

► Give your fish vitamin supplements.
► Consider the compatibility of different types of fish kept in the same container. Remember that if pets live in stressful conditions, they are more susceptible to diseases.
► If you add new residents to your fish, be sure to quarantine the newcomers for 2 weeks!
► Do not smoke near the aquarium - this can cause poisoning in its inhabitants. For the same reason, do not use insecticides or insect killers nearby.
► Buy aquariums made of quality materials from reliable, reputable manufacturers.

Can a person become infected from a sick aquarium fish?

Sometimes this happens. For example, “fish tuberculosis” is a zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, and which leads to the death of scaly pets.
If, after contact with a fish with tuberculosis or the aquarium in which it lives, you do not wash your hands (the skin on them should be damaged (scratches, wounds)), infection is likely. It is also dangerous if the sharp parts of the fish's body damage your skin (and some predatory fish can bite). In this case, there is every chance of contracting a mycobacterial infection.

It manifests itself in the fact that the hands become covered with ulcers and rashes that do not heal over a long period of time, crusts form, and the skin turns red. The disease is more difficult for those people who have a weakened immune system, have undergone chemotherapy or are HIV-infected.
In fact, such cases are not common. It is enough just to use gloves when in contact with fish infected with tuberculosis, and immediately wash your hands after caring for your pet.

How to disinfect an aquarium after fish illness?

If an extremely unpleasant situation has occurred: the fish have suffered a dangerous disease or died, and the aquarium needs to be restarted in order to be repopulated with inhabitants, we will tell you how to do this.

So, first of all, catch it

b inhabitants and relocate them for the duration of quarantine to another container with settled, warm water. It is important to find out what exactly is sick with the fish, because there are two options for restarting the aquarium.

First: if the disease is caused by parasites, you can leave the water, because anyway, the parasites will soon die if the procedure is carried out properly. Restarting the aquarium. However, there is no need to rush. It is necessary to wait at least two weeks - and only after that release the recovered fish into their usual glass house. During this same time, you will need to have time to clean the filtration system, as well as change the water (temperature should be from 25 degrees) in a ratio of 35 to 80%.

Second: if this is an infectious disease, all the aquarium water will need to be drained. Such a restart is already more difficult to implement. This means that soil, decorations, walls, plants and everything that is in a glass container can pose a danger to recovered fish, because pathogens are still present there. This means that all the contents of the aquarium will undergo special treatment (or you will have to purchase new ones); there is no other way.

To do this, take 400 g of washing powder / 3% bleach solution / “White” for a volume of 30 liters and thoroughly rinse every corner of the container, both inside and outside. Rinse 2-3 times with 30-40 degree water. After this, we fill the aquarium full of clean water and leave it for a day, and then drain it.

To disinfect aquarium vegetation, we use a solution of 50 mg of penicillin per 10 liters of water at a temperature of 25 degrees every day for a week. We place plants there (some of them, unfortunately, will die). Every day we replace the water and add new water.

But what to do with soil and stones? They can also be reanimated. We rinse in clean and warm water 2-3 times, and then place in the oven to bake. That's all: the substrate is ready for the fish to return.

So, as you already understand, it is much easier to prevent diseases of aquarium fish than to treat them later. But even if this happens, you can always get support from our online pet supplies store E-ZOO. After all, from us you can learn not only useful information, get practical advice, but also purchase the necessary goods that will delight not only the fish, but also the aquarist himself! We have: algae, aquariums, filtration and aeration systems, soils, medicines, dry food, vitamins, water heating devices and much more.

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