Fishes are animals that need special care, they are quite vulnerable against different diseases, viruses and fungus. All of them are caused caused by different elements, among those elements we can mention the use of chemicals, the lack of hygiene or some changes in the water, temperature or miss function of the filter.
Most species are threatened when the pH rises above 9.0 or falls below 5.5. The decomposition of the organic matter generates ammonia and nitrites very poisonous for the fish. Careless filters pose a great danger. Drug abuse or contact of dangerous substances such as nicotine, thinners or copper. Oxygen insufficiency by overpopulation, decomposition of organic matter or excess of plants in the aquarium. Another great problem, though rare, would be the excess of oxygen in water that would cause cardiac embolism.
Among the different diseases the fish can suffer, we find:
– Chocking which is caused by absence of dissolved oxygen in water. The symptoms that we can appreciate are fish swim through the surface looking for the most superficial layer of air. The solution would be decrease the number of fishes and check the aquarium’s aeration system.
– Disease of temperature changes. It is caused by a sudden change in temperature. The symptoms are fish gasping on the surface; they are very nervous while they are swimming and they get closer or further to the heater as it rises or falls. What can we do to solve that? When making the water changes to the aquarium, ensure that the water is at the same temperature, check the aquarium’s heater and do not locate the aquarium where there are drafts.
– Chlorine poisoning, caused by chlorine in the water. The symptoms are the destruction of the gills, discoloration and pallor of the skin, sunken eyes, loss of swimming coordination and spasms. The solution is removing chlorine from water before making water changes using specific products or letting the water stand for at least 24 hours.
– Ammonia poisoning: It is caused when a high number of new fishes are introduced into the tank at the same time. Ammonia poisoning can also take place when there is a failure in the filter and finally, when bacterial colonies are killed by the use of some kind of medicament of changes in water condition. The most dangerous aspect about this kind of poisoning is that it is practically invisible, you can not realize of its presence until the damage is already done. Some symptoms are fish gasp for breath at the water surface, purple or red gills, fishes are in a kind of lethargic state, loss of appetite, the fish lays at the bottom of the thank and finally there are red streaking on the fins or body.
– Irritating substances, the cause are the excess of the optimum pH limits in each species, presence in the water of plastics, metals or toxic chemicals. As a consequence we can see as symptoms: Injury to the gills, asphyxia or abnormal movement.
-Defective food, once we provide unsuitable food, monotonous food or spoiled products, fishes will suffer of disorders such as inflammation of the digestive system.
Another treat for fishes are viruses and bacteria, the best protection is hygiene otherwise; the result will be the disposal of sick or dead fish will hinder development. The most common diseases are drooping, boils, and bacterial putrefaction of the fins.
– Infectious hematopoietic necrosis, the one to guilt is the Rhabdoviridae virus. This disease is characteristic of fish and cold water, especially of carp and Carassius auratus (redfish). It is transmitted by direct contact, through feeding with infected fish; in addition, the infected fish releases the virus through feces and urine. The symptoms are lethargy and episodes of hyperactivity, dark color, anemia, abdominal distension and hemorrhages at the base of the fins.
– Flushing the flips It is produced by bacteria of the genera aeromonas and pseudomonas. They usually present with other conditions or skin lesions and food deficiencies. The symptoms are whitish line at the edge of the fins; the line increases and extends towards the base of the fins and the spokes are necrotizing and fraying.
– Septicemia bacterial hemorrhage, these bacteria is found in soil and water; it is linked to environmental stress, high temperatures and overpopulation. The indicators of the presence of these bacteria are: many whitish or bloody lesions on the skin, especially lateral and belly; and some red spots on the fins and flaking.
-Tuberculosis, it is caused by Mycobacterium piscium bacterium. Germ-carrying fish are the only source of contagion; the infection is spread by ingestion of infected material. The symptoms will be slow movements, thinning, pallor of colors, falling of the scales, ulcerations and deformations of the jaws and the spine.
-Carp vine, the agent to blame is the Viruses Herpevirus. It mainly affects the cyprinids. Once the infection takes place the indicators will be whitish-like wart-like plaque lesions embossed all over the body, especially the fins.
Then another agent appears on stage, those are best known as fungi, they develop on deteriorated skin of fish living on unfavorable media. The fungi are of the genera Saprolegnia and Achlya.
-Branchiomicosis, generated by branchiomycosis sanguinis fungus and Branchiomycosis demigrans. This disease is also known as gill rot. The disease is stimulated in the presence of waters rich in organic matter, algae and with temperatures above 20 degrees. It will be recognized by loss of appetite, symptoms of asphyxia. At first glance the gills are very pale, with necrotic areas
-Ictioosporidiosis, the fungus Icchthyosporidium hoferi is the one who brings the problem. They consist of a systemic granulomatosis that can lead to a high mortality in the aquarium. The symptoms are muscle tissue and skin look like sandpaper, taking the affected areas a more polished form and desquamation occurs, leading to abscesses and ulcers.
-Aprolegniasis, it is caused by the fungus Saprolegnia, achiya. It affects the skin and gills. It is due to a large variety of fungi. All infections are caused by the presence of scratches or gaps in the epidermis. You will realize the presence of this fungus once cottony growth appearing at one or more points. It is usually found in wounds and flakes
Finally we have Parasites and Parasitic worms. The former may be single-cell dwelling on the surface of the fish’s body. They are introduced into aquariums either with natural foods or through other fish already infected. While the later are external or internal. For example the trematodes of the genus Dactylogyrus and Gyrodactylus that parasites the gills of the fish.
-Intestinalacantoefalos, it is caused by metazoan Pomphorhynchus and Acanthocephalus. Adult parasites live in the intestine and larvae in their second intermediate stage become encyst in the liver, spleen and mesentery. The life cycle of the parasite is very complex involving an anaphora as the first intermediate host that passes to the fry as a second host. You will know that they are there once the abdomen swollen and granular in very thin fish.
-Costiasis, it is generated by the external protozoal parasite Ichthyobodo necatrix, which penetrates the epithelial cells by means of a hook species and reproduces on the body surface of the fish. The symptoms are Gray spots, scrubs against the objects of the aquarium and congestion of the gills.
-White point, caused by the external protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The parasite normally infects the epidermis fins and gills. It feeds on the skin and tissues of the fish until they are mature enough. It has the appearance of a white spot. When mature, it breaks the skin of the fish and passes into the water, causing epithelial erosion. Once free the parasite is it will divide itself until producing up to 2,000 more individuals. The symptoms are small white dots that give the fish the appearance of being sprinkled with sugar. In an advanced state, the points grow and join to form yellowish spots. Fins stuck to the body and friction against objects.
-Planarian, generated by planus worms. It life cycles within the aquarium are very variable. The pests of these worms may be a symptom that something is not going well, such as aging the environment. The worms are found in the aquarium in small colonies with numerous individuals. They are of a very variable size and normally light colors, from white to orange and its shape is flattened. They inhabit the bottom of the aquarium and move through the grains of gravel. They are of carnivorous habits feeding on any rest of food that they find. The reproduction in its natural environment begins in the spring depositing eggs in the bottom of the sand.
– Sanguijuela,2 cm in length, can remain permanently attached to the fish and inhabit their integument, which perforate periodically to extract blood, from which they feed. In addition to anemia, ulcers are an open doorway for bacterial infections. They can be identified easily because they are attached to the skin, usually they have a dark color.
-Hydra, it’s a tiny polyp which can be introduced into the aquarium through plants, where it usually lives in nature or in live food. It can kill and devour fry that comes too close to its tentacles. It is eaten by fish like Trichogaster trichopterus and Macropodus opercularis. Natural foods can introduce into the aquarium leeches of the genera Bebicola and Hemiclepsis, which are susceptible to introducing parasites into the blood or other infections.
There are a lot of treats that fishes need to take care of. It is important to recognize the presence of those treats, such as parasites, chemicals and fungus. In order to avoid that it is very important to clean the aquarium, check it constantly, provide food in good conditions and recognize those diseases.