Tropical fish disease can be challenging for a novice fish thank owner to diagnose and treat. There are hundreds of diseases that can affect fish in an aquarium – here’s a quick guide to some of the more common diseases and treatments.

White spots on your fish (looks like small dots sprinkled on the fish)

This is probably Ich (Ichthyophthirius), a parasite which is rather common. It is usually caused by poor water quality or stressed out fish whose immune system have weakened. It can be treated easily if caught in time and there are many medications that you can purchase online or at the pet store to treat your tank at the first signs of this tropical fish disease.

Grayish cottony patches on skin or gills

This is probably a fungus caused by large amounts of decaying matter (fish waste and food) in the tank. It should be easy to clear up with treatments if it has not progressed too far. You can buy treatments online and, of course, clean the tank more often to prevent this from happening.

Rotting Fins

This tropical fish disease is probably cause by bacteria attacking the fins and is likely to happen where there is poor water quality and / or the fish are stressed. If only a few fish are affected, you can isolate them to prevent spread of the bacteria. This can be treated with medicine purchased at the pet store specifically for this type of disease. You should check your fish daily to insure their fins are in good condition as this requires immediate treatment.

Fish scraping itself against bottom, cloudy skin

These are symptoms of Flukes – a parasite which attacks skin and gills. Poor water quality can cause Flukes to multiply and it is very difficult to treat the fish. You can buy medication to put in the tank for this but it must be done at the first sign of “itching”

fish gasping for air

Your tank may be overcrowded and not have enough oxygen. Try a pump with an airstone to add some oxygen to the tank.

When medicating your tank, always be sure to follow the directions on the medication and use the proper medication for the problem. Good water quality through diligent aquarium maintenance can help to keep your fish healthy and ward off tropical fish disease.