Like everything else on this planet that lives and breathes, aquarium fish get sick just like we do. They don’t share the same illnesses that we have, of course but they are prone to other diseases that probably make them feel as miserable as we feel when we’re ill.
What Makes Aquarium Fish Sick
There are many things that can cause a fish to deteriorate in health, however veterinarians attribute most health problems to stress! Like humans, a fish’s immunity defense is reduced when it’s under stress. As a result, it’s rather easy for a fish to fall ill from the many forms of bacteria it swims around in – bacteria that would otherwise have no effect if the fish were relaxed and happy.
Causes Of Aquarium Stress
Fish experience stress as soon as they’re brought home, when new plants or decorative objects or fish are placed into the aquarium, or when they’re removed from the tank. That’s why there are so many procedures in preparing a fish tank, adding something new or moving fish to a new location. All those procedures are designed to reduce stress and consequently, illness.
Signs That Your Fish Is Sick
A sick fish just doesn’t swim with the same pep that it used to and if you’re a careful observer of your pets, you’ll notice this early on – when there’s time to do something about it. Other signs are forced breathing, staying in one section of an aquarium for long periods of time, or even swimming into things as if it was having sight problems.
Restoring Aquarium Health
Now that we know the cause of most fish illnesses – that is, stress, we can work to reduce it as much as we can. That means feeding the fish appropriate food, maintaining a clean aquarium, quarantining new fish, and reducing abrupt movements around the tank.
By watching your fish’s behavior and carefully monitoring how he or she reacts to new additions, you should be able to quickly determine what’s making your fish feel stressed. Maybe your sick fish is reacting to a not-so-healthy plant. Maybe that new decorative object is upsetting the existing balance of things.
Try to remember that the least stressful environment is one that closely resembles the fish’s natural habitat. If you can manage to represent a habitat that’s close to the original, you should be able to enjoy your collection of healthy fish for a very long time.