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aquarium problems & illness symptom & solution chart

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Cures' started by MOD_Dawn, May 31, 2009.

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  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Problem Chart & Solutions:

    Symptoms: Small white spots on fins. Eventually the spots will cover much of the body. Fish will scratch and become listless.
    Solution: Ich is a common parasite of fish. When fish are exposed to drastic temperature changes or moved they become stressed and more susceptible to the parasite. Ich is easy to cure if you treat daily for at least 3 days using Quick Cure. To speed the cure raise the temperature to 80 degrees. To treat them without meds please read this: Understand Ich and Cure Your Fish

    Symptoms: There are a number of external parasites which may attack the skin, gills, and fins of the fish. Fish which are infected with external parasites will begin to act differently, and may scratch against rocks, or hover near the bottom of the tank. You can suspect a parasite problem if you see any of the following symptoms.
    White Spots Excessive Gill Movement
    Red Streaks Excessive Hiding
    White Film Listlessness
    Solution: Raise temperature to 80 degrees, Do a partial water change. Add one of the following:
    Nox Ich, Goldfix, General Cure
    Maracide, CopperSafe, Quick Cure
    Lifeguard Super Ich Cure
    Notes: The most common parasite of fish is Ich which is highly contagious and causes white spots about the size of a grain of salt to appear on the fins and body. Treat immediately. Treat for at least 3 consecutive days.

    [*]Cloudy Water
    Symptoms: * water is cloudy or hazy
    * white mold-like growths on rocks, plants
    * "googey" pieces of debris cling to gravel
    * fish become listless, increased chance of fin rot
    Solution: Cause: This is the most common problem experienced by beginners. It is usually due to:
    1. Overfeeding: We have found that over 80% of cases of cloudy water are due to overfeeding. Decaying food creates a bacterial bloom and clouds the water.
    2. New Tank: Cloudy water often occurs for a few days after you first set-up a tank. Maintain normal filtration and the tank will clear on its own. "Brite and Clear" , or "Filter Aid" tonic will speed the clearing.
    Treatment: Do a partial water change of 25%. Review feeding procedures.. Maintain adequate filtration, and use fresh activated carbon in the filter. Add "Brite and Clear" tonic.

    [*]Poor Water Quality
    Symptoms: loss of color (majority of fish)
    excessive hiding
    red streaks darting about
    fin rot listlessness
    cloudy eye white film
    Often several fish die rapidly
    Solution: Cause: The most common cause of water quality problems is the buildup of ammonia due to decaying food, overcrowding, or inadequate biological filtration. Ammonia problems also will occur in newly set-up tanks (during the first 3 weeks) if you add to many fish before your biological filter is fully operating.

    Other causes of water problems include inadequate filtration, improper pH, insufficient aeration, and contamination from paints, sprays, insecticides, or cleansers.

    Treatment: If you suspect a problem with the water quality first test the pH and ammonia level of your tank.
    * If ammonia level is high (above 1 ppm.)
    * If pH is too acid:

    In all other cases do a partial water change by siphoning 25% of the water from the bottom of the tank. Repeat the partial water change daily until the problem clears. Also check the operation of your filters, and add fresh activated carbon to the filter.

    Poor water quality can weaken the fish and make them susceptible to bacterial infections. Therefore we often recommend an antibiotic as part of the treatment.

    Notes: If nearly all of the fish die over a very short period of time it is definitely due to a build-up of a toxin in the water. An infectious disease can be ruled out because they take several days to progress.

    [*]Bacterial Infections
    Symptoms: You can suspect a bacterial infection if you see any of the following symptoms:
    Fin Rot Excessive Gill Movement
    Red Streaks Excessive Hiding
    White Film Listlessness
    Open Sores Cloudy Eye
    Sunken Belly Bulging Eye (Popeye)
    Mouth Fungus (Contagious)
    Solution: Notes: Most fish have a good natural resistance to bacterial infections, and a healthy fish will often be able to resist an infection on its own. For this reason not all bacterial infections are contagious. Often only the weaker, older, and most susceptible fish will succumb. The best way to prevent bacterial infections is to feed the fish quality foods, and maintain a healthy environment so that their natural resistance will help them fight the infection.
    Treatment: Raise temperature to 80 degrees, Do a partial water change. Add one of the following antibiotics:
    * Maracyn ( Fin rot, white growths)
    * Maracyn II ( Eye cloud, sores, red streaks, popeye,
    bloat, fin rot)
    * Furan-2 ( Mouth fungus, fin rot, sores)
    * Tetracycline ( Hospital tanks, use for serious infections: will discolor water)
    * Jungle Fungus Eliminator
    If no response is seen within 4 days, switch to a different medication. Bacterial infections are often associated with external parasites, and a combination treatment for parasites is usually advisable.

    Symtoms: White Fuzzy Growths on fish
    Solution: Do a partial water change. Add one of the following:
    Fungus Cure
    MarOxy (also prevents fungus on eggs)
    Nox Ich ( has limited affect on fungus)

    Notes: Usually affects only weak or injured fish. Not contagious.

    [*]Cloudy Eye
    Symptoms: White film on eye
    Solution: Can be caused by several factors. Often it is due to a reaction to something in water such as low pH, medication overdose, or poor water quality. Overcrowding, bacterial infections, internal infections, nutritional deficiencies, and old age can also be factors. Treatment: do a 25% water change and check pH. Repeat water change in two days. Add Maracyn II.

    [*]Inadequate Diet
    Symptoms: fish gradually becomes thin, loss of color, sunken eyes, emaciated stomach, in later stages fish will lie on bottom and may develop sores.
    Solution: This is a bacterial infection that usually only affects one or two fish at a time and progresses slowly over a period of several months. If you are certain the problem is not due to inadequate diet isolate the infected fish in a separate tank or fish bowl. Treatment is not always effective, but feed them medicated food exclusively for several weeks. If problem persists over a period of several months clean and disinfect the tank.

    [*]Lack of Oxygen
    Symptoms: Fish gasp at surface, death occurs with mouth wide open
    Solution: Increase aeration; check filter system. Do not overcrowd. This usually does not occur in filtered aquariums, but is a common problem in goldfish bowls.

    Symptoms: Fish dash wildly about; they may also hover near the surface or remain near the bottom.
    Solution: Shock is caused by making an environmental change (such as water change or temperature change) too quickly. Make any change to the fishes environment gradually.

    [*]Incompatible Tank Mates
    Symptoms: Fish hides in corner, and in some cases it may hover in a head down position. Fins may appear ragged and scales may be missing.
    Solution: Keep only fish of similar size together. Provide adequate hiding spots and feed properly. Check with store personnel regarding compatibility recommendations. In some cases the "bully" fish must be separated from the weaker fish. Large fish can be brought into the store for partial credit towards some other fish.

    [*]Problems with Newly Purchased Fish
    Symptoms: Newly purchased fish do not adapt well to the tank. In some cases they will hide and will not eat, or hover near the surface. Loss of one or more fish occurs within a few days of purchase.
    Solution: When a fish is transferred from one tank to another, there is a certain amount of stress involved and some fish may not be able to adapt. The loss of one or two fish out of a group is not normal, but if it occurs it does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. (Check our guarantee policy for partial replacement). Keep a close eye on the other fish for a few days. If you are having problems with new fish, we also suggest that only the more hardy fish be purchased for a while.

    [*]One fish dies in a healthy tank
    Symptoms: One fish dies showing no symptoms. All other fish remain healthy
    Solution: It is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of a problem when only one fish is affected, particularly if it showed no symptoms before death. The cause can be any of a number of factors including an internal infection, worms, bacterial infection, malnutrition, or old age. In most cases there is nothing special that should be done. Keep a close eye on the other fish and if they begin to show any symptoms of disease do a partial water change and treat accordingly. Most of the time it will not be contagious.

    [*]Old Age
    Symptoms: Fish becomes listless, lies on bottom, sometimes belly becomes very thin, and bent spine occurs.
    Solution: As a general rule, the smaller fish such as tetras, mollies, guppies, neons, swordtails, will live no more than 3 years. Some of the larger fish such as cichlids, angels, goldfish, can live 5 years or more.

    Symptoms: White fuzzy growths, on rocks, plants, gravel. Sometimes forms white balls.
    Solution: This is a mold that grows on extra fish food. See above "Cloudy Water."

    [*]Green Algae
    Symptoms: Green growths on glass, gravel, plants, or ornaments
    Solution: Excessive amount of green algae is usually caused by too much light Avoid direct sunlight, leave the aquarium light on no more than 8 hours a day. Add some algae eating fish (plecostomus, chinese algae eaters). Scrape sides of tank with algae scraper. Add Weco Algacide to prevent new growth. Add a background to shade tank from sunlight.

    [*]Unwanted Snails
    Symptoms: Snails multiply very quickly
    Solution: Limit the snails growth rate by keeping the aquarium bottom free of extra food or plant leaves. A solution of copper sulphate (Snail Rid) will kill snails. Use carefully and do not overdose. The large snails such as Mystery snails, Gold snails, and Ramshorn snails do not create this problem.

    [*]Power Failure
    Symptoms: Filtration shuts down due to power failure
    Solution: In a normally stocked aquarium fish can survive for a few hours without aeration. The time will be less for crowded tanks and more for un-crowded tanks. If the fish begin to come to the surface, oxygen depletion is indicated. There are several methods to increase oxygen levels in the tank. Agitating the water surface every few minutes works well. You may also place a coffee can above the tank. Punch a small whole in the bottom of the can and let water fall into the tank. This will create surface agitation. Battery operated air pumps are also available for emergency purposes.

    [*]Water too warm in summer
    Symptoms: Water temperature rises above 85 degrees.
    Solution: Temperatures above 85 degrees can subject the fish to stress. Water will hold less oxygen at warmer temperatures than at colder temperatures. Therefore increasing the amount of aeration is often the best procedure when the aquarium becomes too warm. If temperature goes above 90 degrees, ice cubes inside of plastic bags can be placed in the tank.
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