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For the Love of Animals

Common Fish Diseases and its Cure

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Owning a fish is easy but caring for it can be pretty tricky. Most fish owners aren’t able to diagnose fish diseases and so many pet owners lose their pet fish and that is indeed a tragedy. So we are here to solve this problem. We will be discussing the most common fish diseases, symptoms, and their cure so you could keep your fish healthy and active.

The most important factor is the water conditions in your tank if your fish tank is clean and the water quality is great your fish is less prone to getting diseases. And most importantly when you bring home a new fish or a fish falls sick in your tank, always keep these fish in a quarantine fish tank.

Also related: Goldfish Care Guide.

Fish Diseases and its Cure

1.Ammonia poisoning:

ammonia poisoning in a Betta fish

Ammonia poisoning is pretty common, it happens when you use outdated food, don’t properly clean your fish tank, water filtration is not working properly or don’t change the water at fixed intervals. The symptoms are quite evident. The fish appears gasping for air at the surface, the fish might have inflamed or red gills and the murky water is an indication that there is ammonia poisoning. The cure is pretty easy all you have to do is check the ph and temperature and then replace around 50 percent of water in the tank and repeat this process after 24 hours.

2.Cotton Mouth:

Cotton Mouth

This infection is usually confused with fungal infection. This infection starts as a pale area around the fish’s mouth and head. This can turn into yellow or brown color. Fish’s mouth is affected but you might also see lesions on the back of the fish. The treatment for this is to change 50 percent of water and use aquarium salt if your fish can tolerate it. Usage of vet prescribed antibiotics or Melafix might be a necessity if the infection is chronic. Remove the carbon from the filter during the treatment.


Fish suffering from Dropsy

Dropsy is characterized by scales sticking out and swelling in the stomach. Your fish will become sluggish and lose appetite. The solution to this disease is changing the water as we discussed earlier. Feeding high-quality food, keeping the water quality optimum and not overcrowding the tank will prevent this disease.

4.Tail/Fin Rot:

Tail/Fin rot in fish

It is one of the most common fish diseases. Tail/fin rot is characterized by frayed, opaque or white fins. The fins might also become blood-streaked and if this fin erosion continues to the base, it becomes fatal. Maintenance of good water quality, pH and temperature will prevent this disease. Also never overcrowd the tank. For treatment, it is best to use antibiotics such as oxytetracycline or tetracycline and change the water as discussed earlier. The addition of aquarium salt will also be beneficial.

5.Swim Bladder Disorder:

Fish suffering from a swim bladder disorder

Swim bladder disorder affects the swim bladder because of which a fish cannot swim properly. It is most commonly seen in Bettas and Goldfish. The first symptoms to be seen are in the fish’s buoyancy, the fish might have a swollen belly, float upside down or struggle with maintaining balance or swimming or the fish might sink to the bottom. The causes can be overfeeding or enlarged organ(kidney, intestine or liver)

The Best cure for this is to skip meals for 2-3 days, lower the water levels so the fish can easily reach the surface, raise the temperature so it could aid in digestion and avoid constipation. You can use broad-spectrum antibiotics if the disease still persists.

6.Body Fluke:

Fish affected by body fluke

Body Fluke is a disease in which a parasite enters the fish gill, skin or any other part of the body The symptoms include fish scratching against objects in the fish tank, lesions, red skin, pale fish, rapid breathing or slime over the gills.

Treatment with an antibiotic is necessary. And it is necessary to vacate the tank and treat it with malachite-green formalin and Ammonium hydroxide so that all flukes and eggs could diminish from the tank. 

To prevent Body fluke avoid feeding live food to the fish and keep the tank clean.


fish affected by Ich

Ich is probably the most common fish disease that fish owners encounter. This is a parasitic disease and can prove lethal if not treated. The diagnosis is pretty simple, you see white spots all over the fish body. It is caused due to a compromised immune system. The causes are Ph, water conditions, temperature or overcrowding of the fish tank.

The cure is very simple to isolate the affected fish, use ich medication, replace water daily, increase the temperature gradually up to 86 degrees, clean the tank, filter and the gravel. Add aquarium salt to aid the gill function.

Prevention is Better than Cure

We have all heard this saying that prevention is better than cure. It means that when buying a fish make sure to choose a healthy fish free from any signs of stress or diseases.

When you bring home a new fish keep it in a quarantine tank for at least 2 weeks.

Always keep your fish tank clean, make water changes at regular intervals(Do not change 100% of water replace with 50%), keep the PH and Temperature constant.

Do not overcrowd the fish tank, do not overfeed and feed a healthy diet.

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