Please enter banners and links.
Many fish diseases can be avoided by keeping your fish healthy in the first place, but a major factor that can have a detrimental effect on the immune systems of fish is stress. Stress is responsible for, or linked to, many fish deaths and is a more common problem than many aquarist believe. Stress can be caused by number of factors in the aquarium, and these are noted below.
Causes and signs of stress
There are obvious factors that can cause stress to aquarium fish, such as aggression from other fish and overcrowding, but there are also invisible causes such as poor water quality or the wrong water conditions. To check for signs of stress use a test kit to give a clear idea of how the system is running. Second, use your eyes to look for indications of rapid gill movement, reluctance to feed and a change of behavior.
Some water conditioners contain Aloe vera or herbal extracts and have been shown to reduce stress, especially when you are introducing or transporting fish, but normally the cause of the stress must be removed if the fish is to recover.
Properly research the species that you are keeping and check their eventually size and long term compatibility. If you keep soft-water species with hard-water species, for example, one or none of the species will be truly happy in the long term, causing stress.
Seemingly minor factors, such as having the light on for too long, vibration from loud music or unsuitable hiding places and retreats, can stress many species.
Once you are satisfied that stress is not a factor in your tank, you can concentrate on the long term health of your fish. Proper feeding of aquarium fish can do wonders for their health, and a well-fed fish can naturally fight off many diseases. So, be sure to follow the advice below when you are feeding your fish.
* Feed branded foods manufactured by reputable companies. Take time to research so that you know that you are feeding the correct type of foods, such as algae wafers for algae eaters, for example.
* Feed small fish little and often because they have fast metabolisms
* Feed large fish more substantial meals less often
* Keep food fresh and where possible, do not buy loose dry food because it will already have lost much of their nutritional value.
* Remove any uneaten food immediately, as it will disintegrate and adversely affect the water quality.
* Provide a varied diet of fresh, frozen and dry foods to your fish wherever possible, as this will provide interest for the fish as well as optimum nutrition.
Providing good water for your fish is paramount and vital for their long-term health, so remember to adhere to the following rules
* Choose an adequately sized filter that will allow for the future growth of your fish.
* Never wash biological filter media under the tap, because all the good bacteria will be lost and toxic ammonia will rise.
* Choose maintenance regime, such as changing 25 per cent of tank water twice weekly, and stick to it.
* Provide the right type of water for your fish, such as soft water for South American species.
The wrong stocking can have dire consequences on your fish and affect their long-term health, so consider the following points when you are choosing your fish.
* Only buy fish that you are sure you can adequately house. Some fish grow to be huge, and it can be easy to underestimate this when you are buying them.
* Don’t stock fish to heavily. It is tempting to try to create a visual display with as many different fish as possible, but this can cause stunting, parasite infestations, oxygen deprivation as well as a very heavy load on your filter.
* Keep shoaling fish in groups and keep solitary fish on their own.
* Provide the right lighting conditions for the fish at all times – some are sensitive or unaccustomed to bright light and this can cause stress.
* Stock slowly with compatible fish from the outset. Do not keep predators with prey fish , even if you buy them when they are small.