Health and Disease
Prevention is better than cure
If you invest some time in learning about your fishes needs and caring for them properly, you will hopefully
encounter disease very rarely. Remember that disease organisms will always be present in the aquarium to some
extent, but they will not normally affect a healthy fish.
Diseases take hold when fish are injured or weakened by stress, which may be caused by poor water quality,
aggressive tankmates or simply the transportation and handling involved in acquiring new fish. Therefore,
the first step in combatting disease is to prevent it in the first place, by providing stable, good quality
water, compatible tankmates, etc.
Introducing new fish to an established aquarium is a potential source of new disease organisms, to which
the current inhabitants may have no resistance. The use of a quarantine tank
is therefore advisable. This allows time to observe the new fish in isolation before adding to the main tank,
and putting the rest of the fish stock at risk.
Unfortunately, even when good tank maintenance is practised and a quarantine tank is employed, there may be rare
occasions when there is a disease outbreak. Fortunately, many fish diseases can be cured, particularly if noticed
early on. For this reason, it is advisable to observe fish carefully and note any changes in behaviour or appearance.
Some diseases have fairly obvious specific symptoms. There are also general symptoms to look out for - such as a loss
of appetite or colours appearing darker or paler than normal. The links below provide details on a number of common
diseases, including the symptoms, causes and possible cures.