Is my fish sick?

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - News - with DR KATE NOR­MAN, vet­eri­nar­ian

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.

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