Diseases Diseases

How To Cure Common Tank Fish Diseases


There are a lot of different fish tank diseases that can affect the health of your fish. Most of these fish tank diseases are bacterial, parasitic or fungal in nature. They can be diagnosed by the symptoms and then successfully treated. Many of them are also quite preventable if you conduct regular tank maintenance.


Step 1

Fin rot is one of the fish tank diseases that commonly occur due to aeromonas, pseudomonas and flexibacter bacterium. Symptoms include red streaks in your fish’s fins, which will then fray and deteriorate. This infection can also spread to the rest of your fish’s body. To treat your fish you’ll need to bathe it in a gentle salt solution or treat your entire tank with antibiotics.


Step 2

Mouth rot is another of the fish tank diseases that’s caused by bacteria. In this case it’s the flexibacter columnaris bacterium. Symptoms include white marks on your fish’s head and gills. As this fish tank diseases spreads your fish will develop fluffy white growths in and around its mouth. To treat this fish tank diseases give your fish a phenoxyethanol bath or treat your whole tank with antibiotics.


Step 3

Fish tuberculosis is caused by mycobacterium. Symptoms include very thin fish who don’t have a lot of energy. Eventually your fish will also develop other physical deformities because of this fish tank diseases. Occasionally people have had success treating their fish with antibiotics (i.e. anamycin, erythromycin). However, the unfortunate truth is that the prognosis for fish with this fish tank diseases is grave.


Step 4

Parasites can also infest your fish tank. There are essentially 2 types of parasites that you need to know about as a fish owner: endoparasites (parasites that live inside of your fish) and ectoparasites (parasites that attach themselves to the outside of your fish’s body). A lot of these fish tank diseases are due to the fact that you haven’t properly quarantined your new fish for 3 to 6 weeks before introducing it to your aquarium. This is important because it ensures that your fish isn’t carrying an infectious disease. Another reason for outbreaks is the poor condition of the water. Symptoms of this disease vary depending upon the host organism. For instance, there’s Ich (ichthyophthirius multifillis protozoan), which is one of the most common parasitic diseased. It causes your fish to develop white patches that can be treated with a mild saltwater dip, formaldehyde or a malachite green bath.


Step 5

There are also 2 common fungal infections that fish can develop: saprolegnia and ichthyophonus hoferi. Both of these are due to infected fish food or unsanitary water. Symptoms include bulging eyes, loss of pigmentation, internal ulceration and a cottony gray growth across the fish’s whole body. Treatment includes a potassium permanganate solution or raising the tank’s salt, temperature and electrolyte levels. In order to avoid these diseases in the first place, simply keep your tank clean and free of any dead fish or debris.


Whenever you suspect that your fish tank has become contaminated with one of these diseases, it is vital to talk to a fish expert. Don't try to treat it yourself. Have an expert explain precisely what you should do in order to restore your fish tank's health.

Sources and Citations


By Brenda Hoffman, published at 04/04/2012
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