Waterlife - Science serving aquatics

   
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Coldwater Aquaria and Pond Fish Disease Chart

Tropical Freshwater Fish Disease Chart

Marine Fish Disease Chart


1.

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Large, (1-5mm) off white granular growths - often spherical and attached to any part of body or fins. Very rare in f/w fishes. Fish shows little signs of distress and often continues feeding normally. Surface appearance of cyst resembles small ball of cauliflower or raspberry. No increase in breathing rate, gill beat (GB) is detectable.


2.

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Body-Rot, Fin-Rot, Tail-Rot, patches of angry red tissue on body, haemorrhagic discolouration of vent (anal) area of abdomen; any or all of the above symptoms if not promptly treated may quickly deteriorate into the following terminal symptoms:- bloated appearance of abdomen (but scales Not standing off body), Exophthalmia ("Popeye"), abnormally high respiratory rate (i.e. faster than 90 gill beats/min.)


3.

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Whitish skin lesions (body rot), haemorrhages, wasting of body tissue, ulceration. Greyish-white film develops over eye and can lead to "Pop-eye" and, death, very fast breathing (90+ GB/min.).


4.

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Greyish-white film over the whole body surface of fish (see special note concerning Clownfishes under "seawater" on right). Eventually if untreated (and if fish survives long enough untreated!) finnage deteriorates and shallow ulcers appear on body. Fish generally appears pallid, sickly and weak with no interest in food whatsoever.


5.

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Greyish-white cotton woolly growths around mouth area.


6.

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Greyish-white, cotton-wool-like threads growing from the fish's body and particles of uneaten food, etc., on gravel.


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Rapid loss of body weight - often despite good appetite, leading to vertigo (loss of balance) and abnormal swimming pattern, (CAUTION these symptoms can be confused with same symptoms produced by physical or pressure damage to swim-bladder if present). Early symptoms later deteriorate to ulceration and fin damage probably as a result of secondary bacterial infections on damage sites. Finally if untreated, the spleen, liver kidneys and brain become infected, "Pop-eye" develops and in the last few hours, breathing rate increases to 100+ GB/min. In early stages of infection wrasse species may lose ability to close mouth.


8.

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Within 6-8 hours of the fish becoming infected the respiratory rate rises very steeply from the normal 60-90 GB/min. to as high as 200-300 GB/min. If not treated quickly at this stage, tiny greyish-fawn cysts (difficult to spot with naked eye unless fish can be manoeuvred into a head on position with light behind it) appear in enormous numbers on body and finnage. Can never be confused with "white-spot" disease since - a) the spots are much smaller, and b) "white-spot" disease doesn't cause an increase in respiratory rate until several untreated days have passed and the fish is dying. Some species occasionally seen to flick and twitch pelvic / dorsal fins and even close down the worst-infected gill chamber if disease progresses untreated.


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Small, pure white, clearly-defined spots (about 1/4 - 1/2 diam. of pinhead) appear on body AND finnage. (CAUTION: do not confuse with same-sized GREYISH-WHITE, blurred-edge spots appearing on finnage only - see No. 10 below). If untreated, spots slowly (6-24 hrs..) advance to cover whole body/finnage area. Fishes do not show same early sickliness as with disease 7 above and may even continue feeding lightly.


10.

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In early stages (first 24 / 48 hours) fishes shows signs of extreme skin/gill irritability, continually scratching and scraping on rocks etc., and "flicking" the pelvic and dorsal fins against the side of the body. However, unlike diseases 8 and 9 above (which can share the same symptoms of skin irritation sometimes), this condition never causes an increase in breathing rate until the fish, after several days / weeks without treatment, is approaching death, and rarely are the near microscopic parasites noticeable as spots on the body, although they can sometimes be seen as blurred spots on fins.


11.

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Greyish white film over entire body surface, easily confused if microscope not available) with disease 4. but does not respond to MYXAZIN treatment.


12.

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Sharply pointed 5-10mm spines sticking out of dorsal tissues.


13.

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Lice-like creatures up to 10mm long crawling about fish's body.


14.

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Myriads of 0.5 - 1.0mm long crustacean "mites" teeming on glass, rockwork etc.


15.

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Neon Tetra, (and rarely other tetras) begin to lose normal brilliant, sharply demarked colouration; respiratory rate increases to 100 + GB / min.


16.

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Fishes ( = mostly livebearers and particularly Mollies) swim with curious shimmying action of body. Later, if untreated, fish becomes unable to swim and sits on the gravel listlessly shimmying.


17.

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Small, whitish/greyish/or creamish "worms" crawl out of head region of Discus family fishes. Unless the infestation is massive and/or secondary bacterial and fungal infections develop. The condition is rarely terminal but very unsightly and may cause infestation of other fishes in system if parasties allowed to reproduce.


18.

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Fish's body bloats out (as though full of roe) and, viewed from above, scales stand away from body producing a pineapply-like appearance - most common in Carp family and Anabantids.


19.

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Shiny white cotton wool-like growths More commonly encountered in pond fish - may be seasonal. Fish generally show no other signs of disease. Rarely fatal.



20.

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Very elongated worm Parasite is brown / black and very large (1 to 5 cm in length). Typically, the fish sustains one or a few parasites but ocassionally heavy infestations. Parasite moves by looping action. In the abscence of attached parasites, their red circular bite-marks on the fish's body may be the only tell-tale signs. Parasites frequently encountered off the fish, usually on plants or substrate.