Diseases Diseases

Common Types Of Freshwater Fish Diseases

Common freshwater fish diseases


Fish keeping has become a very common habit among people, though different people have different reasons for keeping fish. Fishing can be very sweet and fun until your fish develop some new habits and diseases that you do not understand and threaten the life of your fish. Lack of experience and the knowledge of the common fish disease signs will lead to late diagnosis of the freshwater fish diseases on time hence death of the fish. Freshwater fish diseases are caused by many factors that can be avoided if the fish is well taken care of and is stress free.

Common types of freshwater fish diseases

There are many types of freshwater fish diseases that affect the fish. The following are the most common freshwater fish diseases and their symptoms:

  1. Gill disease: This freshwater fish disease is caused by bacteria, parasites or the fungi that might be in the water. The fish appears to be swimming in a hurry but in a real sense, it does not move at all. Its fins move fast, it gasps for breath or lies listless at the bottom. The gills are swollen and discolored.
  2. Fin-rot: It is caused by a bacteria, and it makes the fins to turn opaque and blood stricken. The fin erodes with time until the fish dies.
  3. Columnaris: It is caused by bacteria that are brought about by poor water quality or the stress of being introduced to a new habitat. It is characterized by grayish white marks on the body of the fish, the fins deteriorate, the gills are attacked and sores appear on the body of the fish.
  4. Ick: It is a contagious freshwater disease that is also known as white spot disease or ich. It is caused by protozoa known as Ichthyophthirius Multifilis. When these protozoa attack a fish, it spends sometime on the skin of the fish. At some point, the fish develops white cysts that drop the protozoa in the water when they mature causing an outbreak. Its symptoms are small grain-like posts on the body and the fish tends to rub itself on hard surfaces.
  5. Dropsy: It is caused by viruses and bacteria that result from bad water quality and infected food materials. It is characterized by a swollen abdomen, loss of appetite and it affects the kidney.

Treatment for freshwater fish diseases

The treatment of the freshwater fish diseases depends on the type of the disease and the cause. The following are the treatments that should be administered for some of the common freshwater fish diseases.

  • Gill disease: Improving the water quality and changing the water frequently combined with adding an anti-bacteria solution in the water are key to treating gill freshwater fish diseases.
  • Fin-rot: It is treated by reducing stress for the fish, changing the water frequently and using anti-bacterial medicines.
  • Columnaris: it is treatable if the disease is discovered early. Use of anti-bacterial drugs in the early stages is recommended but in the late stages, use of antibiotics is advisable since the internal organs of the fish have been attacked.
  • Ick: The whole fish habitat should be treated by adding salt and other medications like malachite green and formalin, though malachite can harm the scale less fish. Increase the water temperature to kill the protozoa that cause ick but do not overdo it reduces oxygen levels.
  • Dropsy: It is not very infectious and should be identified early so as to save the fish. Good quality water and good diet is the key to fighting dropsy.

How to prevent freshwater fish diseases

These fatal freshwater fish diseases can be prevented through the following ways.

  • Changing the water in the fish habitat frequently
  • Ensuring that the water in the fish habitat is of good quality
  • Giving a good and nutritious diet to the fish
  • Reducing stress for the fish through providing adequate hiding places
  • Regular water testing
  • Removing uneaten food
  • Avoid having too many fish in one habitat
By winnie mwihaki, published at 03/19/2012
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