Animal Stories - Fish Disease and Treatment

Animal-World Information about: Fish Disease and Treatment

Introduction to aquarium fish diseases and treatments.
Latest Animal Stories
christina - 2014-03-19
I have a 30+ gallon tank; and have fish with the middle of their body on back to the back tail drooping and swimming funny. I don't see any difference in the way they look; but another fish is getting it so I know there is something wrong. Do I flush the two showing symptoms to save the other fish from exposure? I can't see anything that shows me what this particular thing is; unless it is a disease that I read about that said there is no cure and to flush and clean tank. The fish affected now are some type of tetra half gold body half white color.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-20
    It sounds like you have a bone and muscle disorder, which can be caused be several things including infections, parasites, injuries, or nutritional imbalances, It is a good idea to quarantine all infected fish to prevent possibly spreading the infection.

    A bone and muscle disorder known as “Broken back disease” is usually caused by a nutritional imbalance. It can occur when the diet is dificient in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, and selenium. It is indicated by a bent back, which is typical of a Vitamin C deficiency. For this you can try feeding more greens, algae is a good Vitamin C source, and also try adding vitamin supplements to the diet like Vita-Chem (says Marine Formula on the bottle, but is also for freshwater fish) or Kent Marine-C.

    There are a couple other common bone and muscle disorders, but from your description, it doesn't sound like they are the problem. AND they are both incurable. Neon Tetra Disease is one that aquarists are very familiar with. It is caused by the parasite Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. The muscles degenerate, causing abnormal swimming. It is a non-curable disease, and more common than many aquarists realize. Fish Tuberculosis is another non-curable disease that may deforn a fish, usually developing a curved spine. It is also generally accompanied by wasting away, loss of scales, decoloration and lesions on the body.
  • trish - 2014-03-22
    I'd like to add, do not flush the fish. If the fish must be put down there are much more humane ways of doing so. Look up 'solid gold' on YouTube and look up her video on humane euthanasia of goldfish. Also, getting a food safe clear bin as a sick tank works well. Pick up a cheap bubbler to keep it oxygenated and you are good to go as long as you check toxin levels and do a 40/50% water change weekly.
kevin - 2014-03-17
I have a 30 gallon tank with two telescopic gold fish and 4 orandas. I came home today and found one of the telescopic had a blood shot eye. I am really concerned as I had these fish a little over two years and am a fairly new fish owner. I don't know what to do... HELP! I should let you know that I do have aquarium ornaments on the tank, which could be the contributing factor. What can I do? The fish is swimming normally, eating normally, just this red eye. Please send me your thoughts.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-20
    It sounds like your fish has injured itself, these fish are very prone to damage when there are sharp objects or hard ornaments in the tank. Plants are the best decor. You can treat the tank with Melafix, which will help ward off any potential infection and won't cause any problems to the water quality.
CG - 2014-03-04
Red cap oranda has changed in color from red to white on its cap. Is it sick?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2014-03-05
    Hmmm... I've never heard of that. How old is he, and do you do regular water changes? Is his entire cap turned white or just spots of it? He could have ich or possibly a fungal infection as their caps are prone to infection. You may want to treat for that.
  • Anonymous - 2014-03-20
    A shift in color with age is common for goldfish. Black goes to gold, gold goes to white. Environment and genetics factor into the change. I had a red cap oranda turn into a lemon cap as it aged and a 10+ year old common turn from gold, to spotted to all white.
kerri shaw - 2014-02-16
My lionhead goldfish started to get white furry looking patches on his head a few months ago and after a partial water change the white marks disappeared. This happened on numerous occasions however now the white, slimy almost furry looking marks won't go. My fish sits in the corner of his tank continuasly but has no loss of appetite. What is this and what can I do to fix my much loved pet?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    It sounds like your lionhead is acting normal. This may just be the beginnings of his cap. The cap, or 'wen', may show somewhat at about 3 to 4 months, but really starts forming at about a year or two, and gets full by about 2 and 1/2 years.
  • christina - 2014-03-19
    I have a fish guide from a Mardel freshwater fish disease chart; your symptoms bring up a recommendation for using Maracyn-two. It could possibly be a bacterial infection.
ananya - 2014-03-17
Is argulus infestation fatal for fish otherwise healthy and normal?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-20
    Argulus is a crustacean parasite, commonly known as fish louse. With a prolific outbreak it can cause significant tissue damaged to fish, as well as making them prone to secondary bacterial or fungal infections. It should be eradicated to prevent problems.
Laurie - 2011-11-26
Hello My Fellow fish lovers...I have a problem. I have two new red cap orandas that we transfered from our small pond in our backyard-(1st year)-to a 36 gallon indoor tank. We spent alot of $ on a really good filter, everytime we feed our fish-1x daily 4 pellets, one of our orandas seems to get sick and floats upward, stays there and sometimes floats sideways for a day. We panic, put him in a small bucket with water,conditioner, a little salt and oxygen and feed him peas Overnight he recovers slightly but still isn't right. We feed him peas when he acts up again still isn't right. He once got messed up really bad the first time we transfered him after being in pond all summer) , cause we didn't condition the water....since then this floating goes on every time we feed him. Can someone PLEASE help me..I'm afraid we are going to lose him...Thank you...happy Holidays to all

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-26
    I found just two things but either could be the problem. The first is constipation and the symptoms fit. This one is easy cuz you just change the food. It would explain why feeding it a pea would help. The second is gas bubble disease gas bubbles and you might want to check this article out.
  • Lory - 2011-12-10
    Keep feeding him peas for a few days. Then just feed him veggies for a while. if you do give him pellets soak in water till they sink. Than place in tank. Also does his body look injuries from the transfer- tank from pond?
  • kelsey - 2011-12-29
    i think we have the same problem because my fish bernenne is not swimming.We just cleaned his tank today but he is struggling to move and he wont eat at all.I dont know what kind of fish he is but it looks like what you have. Any suggestions??? I'm afraid I might lose him thank you ....happy hoiladays and im sorry you don't know me I just had to get a answer. Hope your fish gets better! sincerliy kelsey
  • sheila meredith - 2012-01-19
    Dear red cap oranda owner, i too set up a huge tank a few months ago and brought 4 of these fish, one is always sickly, they suffer constpation and get swim bladder problems and cannot swim to the bottom of the tank, i put in florets of brocolli which they love (cooked and softened) also cauli, but they do love broc, i give mine the flake fish food, this time though i do not think i will be successfull, the other thre are doing well, they are a lovely temperament fish, and should not be put with goldfish, who usually bully them,
    all the best with your poorly fish, also turned out the lights on the fish tank- these are cold water species and the lights warm the water up.
    good luck
  • leah - 2012-05-01
    I had a fish that would do this. I read that it is because the fish is constipated and so the swim bladder is pressed on making it hard to swim...I made my fish fast for a day or two and then fed him and it seemed to help clean out his system and he has since stopped with the scary sideways swimming on the top of the tank.
  • sheila - 2014-03-13
    Dear Laurie I am sorry you are having trouble with your oranda, I just lost mine after 2 and a half years, but they are prone to constipation due to the commercial fish food - which is JUNK and overpriced junk at that. I boiled Broccoli florets till they were soft. When cold I put them in the tank and the orandas love it. I found it very hard to keep my oranda afloat on the granules and commercial flakes, its just junk! In fact my oranda just died and I'm positive it was the commercial fish food granules. Good luck, they are tricky fish to keep alive, but very lovely and colourful natured fish - best of luck I hear brine is good and possibly ants eggs also.
Teresa Hindman - 2014-03-01
I have a 29 Gallon Aquarium with gouramis and german rams and gold rams and a rummy nose and neons. Over the past two weeks my fish have been one by one dying. Starting with my rams, they start breathing rapidly and it just increases, they get lethargic and stop eating and then die. Looks normal it went through all my rams and now my pearl gouramis are dying. I've treated with seachem paraguard and now using copper and still dying. Did water changes of 25% and 30% and had water checked was told it is very hard water. What is killing my fish? Does anyone know?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-09
    Hard to say, as you didn't identify anything you see on the fish, though you do describe lethargy and loosing their appetite. It may just be overcrowding, which causes too much bioload on the tank, increasing the ammonia. You have done the right thing for defense, good water changes, but if your fish aren't doing any better, then you need to look as the ability of the tank to house the fish you have. Also make sure there are places of retreat, like rocks and plants. As an aside, newer tanks handle fewer fish then well established aquariums.
John - 2013-12-29
I have a 30 gallon half moon tank. The water conditions are good. I have had a goldfish losing his scales for about 2 months now. The water conditions were bad then but not now. But, all 6 of my goldies are losing scales, and that 1 that has been loing scales for a while is now flashing and swimming uncontrollably. What meds can I use? I understand it's a parasite. I believe my choices are maracyn, maracyn II, and maracyn plus? What should I do other than keep water in good conditions? Maybe heat the water and medicate? Or just use medication and leave temp where it is at (72-75 farenheit)? Please help.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-04
    As goldfish are cold water fish, they do best in cooler water, but can be kept in tropical conditions. Good quality water provided with regular water changes are always needed, not only to prevent disease but also to help cure it. Check out the Maracyn types at the pet store and pick the one that best suits your situation. Then follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, it should tell you if a specific temperature is needed for best results.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    Abel, African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, are subject to a wide variety of diseases including bacteria, fungi and miscellaneous parasites. these are usually the result of stress, overcrowding, and poor water quality. I would recommend a good water change, and the addition of Melafix, which is a natural antibacterial treatment.

    Bacterial infection is one of the most common, often identified as white spots with a red periphery appearing on the skin. There is also something called an 'ulcerative disease'. It is described as 'Skin ulceration; sluggish behaviour; red or white necrotic skin ulcers' and these sores can be found in the mouth area, but are also found on the caudal peduncule. This disease has no known 'fix' other proper water management. I would recommend a good water change, and the addition of Melafix, which is a natural antibacterial treatment.
  • Abel - 2014-02-16
    I have clarias gariepinus, I noticed some patches towards the tail, but as time went on, it started peeling off into sores. It ended up eating up the tail. What do I do because I have lost o much of them. They are less than 3weeks old
Joyce - 2014-02-15
I have a black red tailed shark which has recently developed a very large swollen white lump over its left eye. I have no idea what this could be or what may be causing this. I have several other fish in the same tank but this appears to be the only fish with this problem. Do you have any idea what could be causing this and what i should do about it?I

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    It could be he is running into somthing, make sure there is a large open area for him to swim and no aggressive tankmates chasing him.
Leah - 2014-02-05
My golden dojo loach is about 5 months old. He is in a 46 gallon tank with a common pleco, rainbow shark, amd a dwarf neon gourami. The tank has a live plant (along with hiding places and rocks), filter, sand, and heater. A few days ago I noticed he sort of floated from his tail end but managed to keep himself where he wanted to be. An hour ago I noticed he was floating upside down at the top and breathing. I have been watching him and I notice he is trying to flip back right side up but can't seem to do it. I'm very worried about him and not sure what to do. I have a smaller tank with my dwarf frog that I could transfer him to but I don't want to make him more uncomfortable with the transfer. I also don't know if he's been eating enough. I feed them a very good amount but the gourami and shark seem to always be hungry and eat. I've caught the shark chasing him around the tank a few times but the loach doesn't have any noticeable injuries. Just a little pale. Please help me out. I love this lil guy.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-05
    These are strong fish, but he sounds like he's very stressed, most likely from the tankmates A separate tank to recover would be good, and make sure there are plenty of hiding places, especially with soft whispy plants.