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Guarding Against Sick Fish

Fish disease and death can be very frustrating. Unfortunately, it even causes some people to give up on fish-keeping altogether. But a little knowledge along with some basic precautions can be very powerful in the health of our goldfish and koi. Maintaining good water quality is extremely important. It's also important to make sure you are starting with healthy fish. If you purchase sick fish, it's going to be an uphill battle at best. Buy your fish from a dealer you trust. If you are keeping high-dollar fish then trust is not good enough. You should set up a quarantine pond for new fish before mixing them with your other fish.

If a health problem does arise, your first step should be to test the water (you do this once a week anyway, right?).

You may also be interested in our article on the Causes of Fish Stress.

Fish Treatment Products Section of our online catalog.

Symptoms Possible Cause Treatment
Cotton-like growths Fungus Medi-Koi, Microbe-Lift BSDT
Open wounds Bacterial Infection Melafix, Medi-Koi, Debride
Gasping at surface Oxygen deficiency More aeration, fewer fish
Bulging eyes Pop-eye, Bacterial Infection Melafix, Medi-Koi
Swollen body and scales protruding from body Dropsy, Bacterial Infection Melafix and Medi-Koi (mainly for the other fish
as usually it is too late for this fish)
Fins deteriorating Finrot, bacterial infection Melafix, Medi-Koi
Floats upside down, trouble swimming upright Swimbladder disorder Sinking food
"Flashing" through the water (sudden sideways
bursts) or jumping
  1. Parasite infection
  2. Water toxin
  1. Salt level to .3%*, Microbe-Lift BSDT, Prazi Pond
  2. Water Change
Colored fish turning white Loss of pigment More sunlight
Swollen gills Flukes, parasite infection Salt level to .3%*, Microbe-Lift BSDT, Prazi Pond
Lying on pond bottom Flukes, parasite infection Salt level to .3%*, Microbe-Lift BSDT, Prazi Pond
Scales raised (on only part of the body) Parasite infection Salt level to .3%*, Microbe-Lift BSDT, Prazi Pond
Strong red veins in the fins
  1. Bacterial Infection
  2. Parasite Infection
  3. Ammonia or Nitrite poisoning
  1. Melafix, Medi-Koi
  2. Salt level to .3%*
  3. Water Change, Ammo-Lock
White Spots (pinhole size only) Ich, Parasite infection Salt level to .3%*, Microbe-Lift BSDT

*This level of salinity is not recommended with plants in the pond.

Index of Fish Related Articles