How to Prevent Freshwater Aquarium Disease
The article concerns the question – How to Prevent Freshwater Aquarium Disease.
Optimizing Diet and Water Conditions for Healthy Fish
A fish that is brought home from a fish store may appear to be healthy and have no visible signs of disease. Even with careful selection at the store by looking at the fish’s skin and behavior, there is no guarantee the fish is in good health.
Sometimes diseases won’t show up on a fish until a week later. If the fish was in a recent shipment to the pet store, the visible signs may not show up until the fish is brought home. The fish could have contracted a disease in the importer’s tanks or in the pet shop.
Quarantine Fish After Buying
Disease can spread rapidly in an aquarium and healthy fish already in the show tank can get sick if new fish are added without a period of isolation.
Don’t immediately place fish in the show tank at home. Set up a quarantine or holding tank in order to inspect for diseases. It is recommended to keep fish in quarantine for at least one week.
The quarantine tank need not be fancy and is better if it’s not. A bare aquarium is best because there are fewer places for diseases to hide. Don’t add gravel, plants, or decorations; just add water, a filter and fish.
Adding Fish to an Aquarium
Never add too many fish to the aquarium at any one time. If this is done, it creates stress in the existing fish and the new fish. Stress weakens their systems and makes way for disease. It is advisable to add one or two fish at a time and only after the quarantine period.
Choosing the Correct Diet for Fish
The diet of the fish has a lot to do with keeping them healthy and keeping disease out of the aquarium. Not every fish can be fed the same food. Just like in nature, fish eat different food and need certain nutrients in their diets.
Some fish keepers think that a can of flake food will have everything needed to keep fish happy. This is not always the case. Certain species may require a combination of freeze dried foods and flakes. Other fish may need the addition of live foods. Many fish like to nibble on snacks of vegetable matter such as lettuce.
The dietary requirements of each species can only be determined by researching the fish. Feeding the correct foods to the fish is essential in keeping disease down in the aquarium. Well-fed fish are healthy and underfed fish are prone to disease. If buying live food, be sure to purchase from trustworthy sellers because the food may be diseased.
Maintaining Correct Aquarium Water Conditions
Poor water conditions are the main causes of disease in fish. Water hardness, PH balance and temperature are the most important levels to monitor. Different species of fish require different water conditions. Some fish cannot survive in water with a high PH reading or in a low hardness reading.
If the water in the aquarium is not optimized, it can cause the fish to become stressed. This makes fish more susceptible to disease. It is very important to research each species and condition the water accordingly.
If setting up a new aquarium, it is essential to test the water every second or third day for PH, hardness and temperature. Test kits can be purchased at pet shops. Once the aquarium is established, the water can be tested once a week.
The aquarium should be well-filtered and small water changes done in order to remove uneaten food and body waste collected in the substrate. A inexpensive gravel washer is good for digging beneath the surface of the substrate and it can be used without removing the fish and water from the aquarium.
Even if a fish is perfectly healthy when purchased, water conditions and diet can easily bring on disease.