Just like us human-beings, it is also possible for your fish to suddenly experience some form of life-threatening illnesses or fish diseases which may require immediate medical attention. If we are well prepared, we can save the life of a fish or the lives of an entire school. However, if we aren’t adequately prepared, we could witness an entire school being wiped out in a matter of days, depending on how life-threatening the bacterial, viral, or fungal invasion is.
Quick or immediate response is always extremely important when administering medical care to a sick fish. This can prevent the spread of the infection from the outer body of the fish to internal tissues or from one fish to another. Thus, it’s of paramount importance that you always have a first aid kit at hand to quickly administer the proper care or intervention to your sick fish.
According to fish experts, diagnosis of fish disease in fresh water or salt water aquaria can be very difficult, as a result, misdiagnosis is common and the medication may not always successfully resolve the problem. However, it is still important that you familiarize yourself with some of the most common fungal infections, bacterial infections, internal parasites and external parasites that often invade fish aquaria and the recommended medication for each.
You should also be able to associate physical signs and abnormal behaviors of fish with the various infections above. For example, noted abnormal behaviors such as scratching against fixed objects, labored breathing, and also physical appearance such as loss of normal color, golden “velvety” growth on the body of a fish may be signs of a fish disease or infection commonly known as Velvet(fresh water) or Amyloodinium Ocellatum(marine). To treat this infection, Parasite Clear or CopperSafe is often recommended for fresh water aquarium environment and Probiotic Marine Formula or Cupramine for marine aquarium environment.
Caring for A Sick Fish
It’s best to isolate a sick fish from the entire school when administering medication. Fish experts recommend that you use a smaller aquarium to quarantine a sick fish before replacing it back to its original habitat or the main aquarium with the rest of the school.
There are several great resources available on the subject of fish health care and fish diseases, medication, and treatment in general. I have also personally recommended a few books or resources that all fish breeders or keepers should have in their possession. These resources will help you tremendously in successfully keeping and caring for your fish.