Is my fish sick?
IF you keep fish as pets, keep your eye out for the changes detailed below that your fish is unwell, and employ some of the following strategies to help alleviate the situation.
Examine the fish - Note any changes to the gills, spots on the scales and damage to the fins that could give a clue to any underlying illness.
Clean out your filter - The filter can be clogged with food, waste or rogue snails, so dismantle and clean your filter thoroughly.
Do a water change - A partial water change is an excellent way to maintain tank hygiene. Always add water conditioner to any water you are adding to your tank. In case of illness, a large water change up to one third of the tank’s volume is acceptable. This can be followed by smaller water changes of one fifth of the tank’s volume every day or every few days.
Check your water temperature - A heater malfunction could lead to the water being too hot or cold and cause your fish distress.
Check your ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels - Ammonia is a waste product produced by fish, and a build up of ammonia will make them feel very unwell. Ammonia can build up when tanks aren’t cleaned properly, if the tank has not cycled or built up an appropriate biofilter or if there are too many fish in the tank. Commercial products are available to bind ammonia, or perform multiple water changes.
Check your water PH - Different fish have different PH requirements and a sudden change in PH could make your fish feel unwell. Commercial products are available to increase or decrease the PH, or perform a water change to try and bring the PH closer to neutral.