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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Does My Fish Have Ich Or Some Other Common Freshwater Fish Illness?

There are many illnesses that affect freshwater fish today. I am going to explore the most common ones and give a little bit of info about each one so that you can recognize the symptoms and treat the disease.

The most common illness is ich.

If you'd like a more in depth look at ich, please check out my other blog:How To Treat And Get Rid Of Ich

Appearance: Ich appears as white dots on the fish's scales and in some cases encompasses the entire body.

As you can see, the poor little guy above has a really bad case of ich.

Causes: Ich is caused by stress and/or environmental changes and is highly contagious to the other fish in the tank. You might also notice the fish rubbing themselves on decorations in the tank.

Treatment: Although there are some chemicals out there that you can use, I usually opt to go the natural route.

Aquarium Salt is a wonderful curing agent that gets rid of ich sooner than any other medication I have tried with my fish. Some medications that treat ich seem to have a higher mortality rate than using the Aquarium Salt.

Alongside treating the fish with aquarium salt, you will want to increase the temperature of the aquarium to 80 degrees; These two steps will kill off the ich.

Unfortunately, some fish might die in the process of treating them either because the fish had the ich too long or is not responding to the treatment.

Swim Bladder:

Appearance: Swim Bladder is a disease that is characterized by the fish swimming around upside down, appearing to have abnormal swimming behavior.

Causes: Swim bladder is caused by overfeeding the fish or by having an external injury occur to the fish's swim bladder.

Treatment: Sometimes there isn't anything you can do if the fish has had the swim bladder for too long. If you catch the swim bladder early enough, you may be able to treat the swim bladder with peas. Some people have suggested that you can treat swim bladder with thawed out peas but I have never had any luck with peas or with any type of swim bladder medication.

Clamped Fin: Clamped fin has the appearance of the fins being closely smashed together.

Appearance: In most cases, All the fins will look clamped and it will make it difficult for the fish to swim.

Cause: Clamped fin is caused by poor water quality.

Treatment: The best way to treat clamped fin is to do a 33% water change. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the rocks with a gravel vacuum and change your filter. After the aquarium has been cleaned add Aquarium Salt.

Last, but not least is:

Open Sores/Ulcers:

Appearance: The ulcers look like open wounds and have a reddish appearance.

Cause: Ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection to a site of injury. If the fish got in a fight with another fish in the aquarium, the fish may have an open wound that got infected by the natural bacteria that is already present in your aquarium.

Treatment: Aquarium Salt. To treat the fish use 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons.

If the Aquarium Salt treatment doesn't work then you can try something called Melafix Fish Remedy. This is a medicinal treatment that should only be used on the infected fish. If there are other fish in your aquarium that are not infected I suggest that you quarantine the infected fish in your hospital tank.

Discount Aquarium Supplies at

Good luck and I hope that this helps you treat your fish! :)

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