D  i  s  e  a  s  e    D  i  a  g  n  o  s  i  s

Examine your fish for symptoms and unusual behavior. Then answer the series of questions below: 


Diagnostic Questions

If you suspect that your fish are stricken with illness, answer this series of questions to find some common fresh and saltwater diseases.

 

Is the fish exhibiting flashing, darting, rapid swimming, spots on body, or white stringy material?

If yes: this indicates parasites, fungus, or one of a few types of bacterial infection. No indicates most bacterial infections or injuries.

 

Does the fish have small white pustules mostly in the head area, or bead-like, similar in shape pustules mostly on body area? 

 [Picture of fishsuffering from velvet]

If yes: Fish has Velvet or other related protozoan disease.

If no:

Does the fish have small white pustules (pimple-like) on skin and fins, the pustules being consistent in size and shape?

If yes: fish has Ick (Ichtyophthirius), a most serious parasitic disease. Almost all cultured fish are susceptible. Note: Some fish do not develop pustules on skin. Heavy infections may be on gills and show no evidence of disease on other parts of the body.

 

[Picture of fish with ick]

If no:

Does the fish have visible parasites (worms, gill flukes, leeches, etc.) or white spots on the body of the fish?

If yes: fish has parasites.

[Picture of fishwith gill flukes

[Picture of fishwith parasites]

A freshwater dip (for marine fish) or a saltwater dip (for freshwater fish) will often help, as the parasites are less resistant to such changes than the fish. A formalin bath or copper may also be useful. Avoid overdosing on copper or using copper too often, as the treatment can easily kill the fish.  Consult the Treatment and Methodology section for more information.

If no:

Does the fish have greyish white patches or tufts in open wounds on fins, tail or body areas that have been damaged?

If yes: fish has true body, mouth, or eye fungus.  Consult the Treatment and Methodology section for more information.

[Picture of fishwith fungus]

If no:

Does the fish have white greyish stringy material cover most of the body, or white or grey patches?

If yes: fish has Columnaris, or body fungus.  Consult the Treatment and Methodology section for more information.

[Picture of fishwith columnaris]

If no, then your problem does not exist on the GENERAL disease chart, and you may find more detailed information in the Tropical Fish Disease Section, or Aquarium Advice page to discuss the problem.


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