What Are Some Fish Diseases and Their Treatments?


Quick Answer

Common aquarium fish diseases are flukes, mites, lice, bacterial infections and fungal infections, according to Tetra. Treatments include praziquantel for parasites, antibiotics and antifungal medicines. Many diseases are also manageable by maintaining a clean aquarium environment.

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Full Answer

Anchor worms are a type of parasitic crustacean that burrow into the skin of fish, explains Tetra. Fish owners can manually pluck them off and clean wounds with iodine afterward. Bathing freshwater fish in mild saltwater for five minutes causes the parasites to detach. Flukes are tiny flatworms that thrive in poor quality water or overcrowded conditions. Praziquantel, water changes and general antibiotics usually clear up the problem. Praziquantel is also an effective treatment for gill mites.

Lice are another common problem for outdoor fish that fish owners can manually remove with careful cleaning afterward. Affected fish also benefit from mild saltwater baths. Bacterial infections of aquarium fish include dropsy, ragged tail fin, fin and mouth rot, and clamped fin. The best treatment for these ailments is preventative, notes Tetra. Maintaining healthy, clean water conditions usually prevents problems with bacteria. There are also various multipurpose antibacterial treatments available.

Fungal infections are mostly a problem for fish with previous or existing health conditions. Fungicide treatments and water changes are essential for fungal infections. A very common health problem in aquariums, especially for stressed fish, is fish ick. Fish owners can combat this condition with ick-specific water treatments and by maintaining constant temperature and pH. Hemorrhagic septicemia is a viral disease with no known cure, although water changes and broad spectrum antibiotics may help, reports Tetra.

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