Providing the right water chemistry is one of the most important things you can do in order to prevent disease in the aquarium. Having a number of fish in a closed aquarium requires some amount of hard work and only a responsible aquarist can keep his or her fish healthy. Here is a list of water properties that need to be checked as often as possible:
- The temperature of the water has to be kept stable.
- The pH of the water should be at level that is most suited for the species you are keeping in the aquarium.
- Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen levels need to be monitored regularly. These are the various elements that can tip the balance in your aquarium.
- Filter out as much waste as possible. A completely waste free environment is a dream, but getting as close to it as is humanly possible should be the endeavor.
- Some traces of algae are healthy for the fish and are also indications of a healthy habitat within the aquarium.
- Regular water changes are a MUST for any disease-free aquarium
- The Nitrogen Cycle is another important step that many impatient beginners loath to perform.
Strong and healthy fish are typically very resilient toward disease attacks. It is only when the fish are weakened by stress or by factors like persistent aggression that they give in to sickness. Unfortunately, there are times when even the best care falls short of the required care. When fish do fall sick, the best chance for easy and fast cure is when you can catch the sickness in its earliest stages. If you observe your fish regularly, this is not a difficult task at all. Sick fish will start exhibiting strange patterns in their behavior. Many times, it is when the initial signs have been ignored that the fish really become too ill and reach a sad end.
Sick fish will almost always display at least one of these symptoms:
- Clamped Fins - fins that are held very close to the body and not spread out
- Head standing - Fish swims with its head down.
- Tail Standing - Fish swims with its tail down.
- Lethargy - Fish seems to be tired and stays put in one corner of the aquarium.
- Listing - Leaning on to one side or the other.
- Scales pointing out - The scales of the fish stick out, almost like on a pine cone.
- Red sores on the body.
- White sores and/or spots, or thread like marks on the body.
- An anus that is red or protruding from the body.
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