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Freshwater Fish Disease Symptoms and Treatment 

Very important to know that Fish in an Aquarium Tank is prone to disease at some time or another. What is more important is to know what type of disease it has. secondly the symptoms and the Treatment. Many diseases are brought on by the fish being stressed due to transport or water quality issues, Bullying by other fish in the tank leads to stress too. 

Therefore it becomes important to have a quarantine tank for new fish so that you may monitor the fish for a few weeks before adding them to the main tank. If your fish has a disease in the main Tank, It becomes important to be quarantined so that it can be avoided putting chemicals in the main tank. Secondly, the carbon needs to be out of the equation from the filter while treating the fish in a quarantine tank. It's important during the period of treatment not to rush things...Even if the fish symptoms have disappeared it needs to be quarantined for some more time till it shows complete recovery. 

It's important to have a good quality of water during the treatment. Very important to give good quality food to avoid disease and to build its immune systems and produce less wastage and do water changes. For testing the water invest in Test Kits and invest in a good water conditioner and practice good fish acclimation techniques.

In this Page let me touch upon common fish diseases where an aquarist will always have a problem. I consider Ich a Problem, Hole in the Head disease, and Malwai Bloat in Cichlids.

Let's talk about the IcK, or White Spot (Ichthyophtirius), and Malawi Bloat in African Cichlids. 

Disease:- ICH, Small white spots showing up mainly on the fins but also the body. 

Treatment:- This is a fairly common fish disease and your local pet store should have the medication you can use. Ich usually arises due to poor water quality. You can increase the temperature of your water to 82 degrees Fahrenheit to speed up the cycle time of this parasite. Remove any carbon filtration before using medication because the carbon will absorb the medication. Easily preventable by using a quarantine tank for a few weeks before introducing new arrivals into your main tank. Even Medicines from Azoo, Seachem, and API will do the Trick. Remember to follow the directions on the bottle during the treatment. Seachem has got various medicine both to treat external as well as internal. We strongly recommend Paraguard from Seachem to treat Ich. To buy Paraguard click below for medicine.

Disease: Malawi Bloat in African Cichlids

Symptoms:- Swollen stomach, Abdominal swelling

Causes:- This disease is caused by Stress and a Poor Diet. It's a bacterial infection

This Disease is very fatal if not treated in Time. Mainly affects African Cichlids. I had a tropheus that was fed the wrong food and this resulted in Malawi Bloat. I was too late in treating it. Tropheus being herbivorous needs veg matter more in the diet. The protein level needs to be less. African Cichlids need protein levels of not more than 40% of their total diet. 

Treatment:- Suggested treatment is a dip into the Epsom salt solution and Metronidazole. The food that can be given during the treatment is also peas which act as a natural laxative. If using seachem product then recommended medicine is metroplex along with focus which acts as a binder to food. If it's not eating then metroplex can be administered through the water column. It's better to treat the African cichlid with medicine mixed into the food. This disease is an internal bacterial disease. Watch out for these signs mentioned below:

  • Lack of appetite

  • Spitting out food (My tropheus did this a lot)

  • reduced activity

  • Increased breathing rate

  • Might lose its balance 

  • long, stringy white feces hanging from your fish


Caution:-  The fish might be bloated for some other reason too like overfeeding. If the fish is still eating despite the bloat then it is unlikely that it is not having a Malawi Bloat.

Seachem medicine available at Mumbai India
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