Just like Humans, there’s many different diseases that can affect fish. Some of the most common problems and diseases in fish are swimbladder, white spot, finrot and internal bacteria infections.
A goldfish with swimbladder disease will be found upside down, struggling to dive, or swimming on its side, and will otherwise appear healthy. The swimbladder controls the buoyancy of the goldfish and is often interferred with by food. Some food – such as floating flakes or pellets – causes the fish to take in air as they consume it due to them having to break the surface to get it. This in turn causes air bubbles within the fish, causing them to float and struggle to right themselves.
There’s various solutions for this problem. There’s swimbladder treatment that when added to the water kills bacteria that cause swimbladder, another solution involves not feeding the fish for 24 hours. The latter solution only works until you next feed the fish, unless the foods changed to a sinking variety.
White Spot Disease
Protozoa is a single-celled microorganism that causes white spot disease in fish. It does this by attacking and attaching itself to the body, fins and gills of a fish and causes breathing, mobility problems and death. Highly contagious, once one fish gets it the rest will also quickly get it and if left untreated will cause death. Besides the white spots, the disease can also be seen from behaviour changes such as fins being folded against the body, scratching against rocks and ornaments and disorderly swimming.
Treatments for white spot disease in fish vary depending on the symptoms shown. When goldfish start swimming to the surface more often it could be caused by the pH level not being maintained, this can be treated using antibiotic anti-parasitic medicine specific to anerobes. Disoriented swimming can also be a sign of white spot disease in fish and a prevention for it is to boil new ornaments and stones before putting them in the tank, or equally using ornament-specific cleaner for the tank.
The most common symptom of white spots on the fins and body can be treated by using an anti-white spot solution that gets added to the water. Another way of preventing it is by quarantining new fish for a couple weeks before added them to the main body of water with the other fish. Protruding eyes can be prevented by replacing water with water of the same temperature, or by raising the tank water temperature just a little.
Internal Bacteria Infections
Internal bacteria infections in fish can affect many organs of fish and is normally caused by poor nutrition, sudden temperature changes, injury, seasonal changes or sanitation which can make fish more susceptible to infections. Red ulcers that cover the fish is a recognisable feature of the infection. In severe cases it can prove fatal.
Other symptoms include:
- Enlarged eyes
- Reddening of the body
- Ragged fins
- Kidney damage
- Body ulcers
- Accumulation of fluids in the abdomen
Treatments depend on the type of bacteria the fish have and a vet can determine the type and best treatment for the bacteria in the fish. An alternative is to add a bacteria control agent to the water to help relieve any infections such as King British Aquarium Bacteria Control.
Finrot and Fungus Disease
Finrot is a serious and deadly disease that’s normally caused by harmful bacteria in the water. It starts to occur when there’s a wound that causes the flesh to be exposed to bacteria present under certain conditions. Finrot is likely to occur in unclean tanks due to them being higher in inorganic substances such as ammonia. Its also possible to get finrot if the fish is stressed, overcrowded by other fish or plants.
Finrot is a progressive disease so some symptoms are more noticeable at the beginning/end of the disease compared to other symptoms. At first milky white patches will start developing on the fins and tail of the fish, progressing to a ragged or tattered look. The fins and tails will then begin to darken and will literally look like they’re rotting away, eventually leaving just the fin rays exposed and will start working up the body of the fish, also causing secondary infections.
Once the symptoms have been observed, an anti fungus and finrot can be added to the water to counteract any bacteria, treating any fish and preventing the disease from spreading.