Common Pet Fish Diseases

Fish are small but they make beautiful pets for the young and old alike. Even though you don’t handle them much, it can help with their care if you take notice of their health. Here are some common pet fish diseases that you may encounter.

Aquarium fish are the most popular pets. There are more species of fish in the world than all other types of animals combined. They come in a variety of colors, sizes and temperaments. Watch your fish on a regular basis. This will help you to recognize when something is less than kosher about them.

There are two types of fish: fresh water and salt water. The majority of fish are fresh water even though most bodies of water are salt water pools. Your aquarium pets will most likely be fresh water. These conditions can occur in any fish living in aquariums.

Common Pet Fish Diseases

1. Dropsy

Goldfish suffering from dropsy disease
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It sounds like an eye condition or something to do with clumsiness, but, in fish, it is actually a bacterial infection that affects the kidneys. How will you know if your fish has dropsy? They can experience renal failure and fluid retention (bloating). Since it is bacterial, antibiotic drops added to the fish food can treat the condition.

2. Tail and fin rot

betta fish suffering from tail and fin rot
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It doesn’t look too pretty when your fish is being eaten up by bacteria. The condition usually shows up in aquariums that are kept in less than ideal conditions. The delicate tail and fin show a chewed look to them. Other fish can bring this about by aggressively nipping at their fellow aquarium dwellers. Again, antibiotics in the water and in the food can treat the infection.

3. Tuberculosis

Pet fish can suffer from this respiratory condition just like people. In fish, it is caused by Mycobacterium piscium. Because fish breathe through their gills, a tank that has poor water quality can be the culprit in this situation. Symptoms include: lethargy, abdominal bloat, skin ulcers, loss of appetite and loss of scales. Treatment includes antibiotics.

4. Ich

goldfish with ich disease
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This is what most people call it. It is also known as “white spot disease.” It is caused by the presence of protozoa called Ichthyophthirius multifilis. It is characterized by white spots on the skin. White spots can be indicative of other conditions too, but you can treat for ich and it 9 out of 10 times you’ll fix your fish.

5. Fungal infections

betta fish with fungal disease
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Molds can grow on fish and lead to a breakdown of the skin cells. Aquariums that are too crowded or water that is not clean can increase the incidence of this situation. Fungal medications can help to treat your fish and prevent them from being eaten by mold.

Protect your pet fish so that they can enjoy a long life as a part of your family.

Jasmine Hinesley is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Corneschi, Unsplash