Last Updated: 11/12/13
Chart of Problems, Causes, and Treatments
Treatment with Salt - now on its own page
I am aware that my fish health pages need a major renovation. I am sorry that I do not have time now to redo them.
Under Construction (so there are blanks)! Please refer to The Manual of Fish Health by Dr. Chris Andrews, et. al., Tetra Press, 1988 for more information. I will eventually add information from this and other books to this table.
|Fin rot||Stress from temperature changes, spawning, overcrowding; coupled with bacteria and/or fungus||Edges of fins rotting away, may be white and slightly fuzzy (if very fuzzy, other organisms are attacking)||Salt dip (1 cup per 10 gallons) for 60 seconds or until fish shows stress (jumps or rolls over); salt tonic (2 tablespoons per 10 gallons) for a week; antibiotics.|
|Ammonia poisoning||Too much ammonia from too many fish and/or not enough nitrifying bacteria (see the water chemistry page for more information)||Jumping, eratic behavior, flight behavior, flaring red gills; followed by inability to properly swim and death||Immediate large water change (50% or so); addition of ammonia removing resins to the filter; removal of excess fish and/or proper maturation of the nitrifying bacteria (takes a few weeks for bacteria to stabilize)|
|Nitrite poisoning||Too much nitrite from too many fish and/or not enough nitrifying bacteria||Jumping, eratic behavior, flight behavior, flaring red gills; followed by inability to properly swim and death||Immediate large water change (50% or so); removal of excess fish and/or proper maturation of the nitrifying bacteria (takes a few weeks for bacteria to stabilize)|
|Other Poisonings||Poisons, pesticides, medications, soaps||Jumping, eratic behavior, flight behavior; followed by inability to swim and/or seizures and death||Immediate large water change (50+%) or, if severe, removal of fish immediately to fresh, unpolluted water of the same pH and temperature; addition of carbon to filter may remove residual poison|
|Ick||Parasite||White spots all over body, scratching on rocks||Parasite killer medication; increase of temperature into the 80's; and/or salt (about 1 to 2 Tablespoons per 10 gallons) if tolerated by fish (not for catfish)|
|Velvet||Parasite||Yellow spots||Parasite killer medication|
|Anchor worm||Visible parasite||Two white "strings" (really the worm's egg cases) hanging off the fish||Physical removal; parasite killer medication; Program (see above under parasites)|
|Fish Louse||Visible parasite||Alien looking being with large eyes stuck to fish||Insecticide medication; physical removal; Program (see above under parasites)|
|Nematodes||Visible parasite||Red worms protruding from the fish's vent||Worm killer medication|
|Leeches||Visible parasite||Leech attached to fish||Parasite killer medication|
|Tuberculosis||Tuberculosis bacteria||Large bumps inside fish that rupture through their body; like a large boil||Little success treating this bacteria; usually fatal; can try antibiotics; see above|
|Dropsy||Certain bacteria||Fish grossly enlarged; scales protrude from the body||Hard to treat; try antibiotics|
|Fungus||Fungus||Fuzzy white tufts on fish; often at sites of injury||Antifungal medication (like MarOxy by Mardel)|
One man's pest is another man's pet.
Snails - problems created by snails and how to deal with them
Planaria and Hydra - dealing with these critters
A fish who is washed-out is one that is not displaying its normal coloration. A red fish may turn pink or a light colored fish may turn white. This color change may be an indication of one or many different stresses on the fish. Here are just a few of the possibilities as to why the fish is washed-out.
1. The fish has been moved to a new location resulting in stress. The fish should recover after settling in.
2. The gravel in the tank is too light, and the fish is trying to match the color. Adding darker gravel should fix the problem.
3. The lighting (artificial or sunlight) is too intense. Providing shade with ornaments or plants should darken the fish.
4. The fish is sick. This could be due to bacteria, parasites, fungus, or viruses. See above for information.
5. The water temperature is too low. Often, increasing the temperature will darken a fish.
6. Something is wrong with the water quality. For example, high ammonia levels will wash out a fish. Changing 50% of the tank with gravel vacuuming and the addition of water additives such as dechlorinator and salt should help.
7. The fish is under some other stress such as bullying from other fish or reproductive stress.
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