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Often, detecting illness in your fish is very difficult. However, because disease spreads quickly in tanks it is necessary to spot illness quickly and separate an ill fish from others. Hospital tanks are as expensive as one might think and they also guarantee the safety of other fish. When a diseased fish is spotted it should either be destroyed or placed in a hospital tank. Also, new fish can be acclimated to new environments using hospital tanks, and this will also serve to make sure the fish harbors no diseases.

What are some symptoms and diseases to look for?

The most common disease in saltwater tanks is Ick. Ick are free swimming parasites that literally eat fish alive. Symptoms of Ick include white spots on scales, gills or heads of fish, strange swimming motions, decreased appetite, and change in breathing habits (the fish struggles to obtain oxygen). Treatment can either be to remove the fish that display symptoms, or treating the water in the tank with a solution from a pet store.

Marine Velvet is quite similar to Ick, however, the main difference being its elongated life span. There are a number of other parasites that can attack your fish, usually you may diagnose them if your fish rubs against rocks, swims awkwardly, secretes slime or has open sores, clouded eyes, or there may even be white worms hanging out of the fish. Some cases can be treated with antibiotics, but usually the fish must be destroyed.

Lateral Line Erosion is a disease that causes facial erosion and pits in the skin. Its primary symptom is loss of interest in food, and an antibiotic food can help to cure it.

Finrot is a disease that occurs primarily due to poor water maintenance. Its symptoms are fin erosion that leads to hampered swimming and reddened areas on the fish’s body.

Disease and parasites are remarkably harmful to your fish, be sure and monitor their condition regularly and provide a very sanitary environment for avoidance. Give your fish a good diet with vitamins to held them ward off disease, and always keep a hospital tank available in case of any problems.