Diagnosing Fish Ailments

Is your fish displaying troubling symptoms? Use the chart below to help analyze and treat the problem.

Disease Type

Disease

Symptoms

Recommended Treatment

Prevention

Bacteria

Aeromonas, Pseudomonas

Fin and tail rot, skin ulcers, swollen abdomen (dropsy), bulging eyes (pop-eye), reddened fins and skin

Isolate fish. Add antibiotics to the water and use antibiotic- medicated food.

Maintain good aquarium water quality. Quarantine any fish that show signs of the disease.

Bacteria

Flavobacterium (Flexibacter) Columnare

Fuzzy skin or lip lesions

Isolate fish; add antibiotics
to the water and use antibiotic-medicated food.

Maintain good water quality. Quarantine any fish that show signs of the disease.

Virus

Carp Pox (Cyprinid Herpes Virus 1)

Raised, smooth bumps on skin or fins

Affected areas can be treated with topical disinfectants. Add medication containing Formalin to water.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank. Use anti-bacteria-medicated fish food.

Virus

Lymphocystis

White, nodular growths extending from fins or skin

Affected areas can be treated with topical disinfectants; add Formalin solutions to water.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank. Avoid feeding virus-contaminated live food; use anti-bacteria-medicated fish food.

Fungus

Saprolegnia (Water Mold)

Long, whitish, cotton-like growths on skin or fins; can also appear on fish eggs, uneaten food in tank or dead fish

Treat water with a medication containing Methylene Blue, Acriflavine, Victoria Green or Malachite Green.

Avoid damage to skin of fish from handling; avoid overcrowding, temperature variation or poor water quality, as this reduces the fish's ability to fight disease.

Protozoa (Skin Parasites)

Costia, Chilodonella, Trichodina, Epistylus

Increased gill movements, fins clamped to sides, lying on bottom, increased slime coat (white or grayish cast on skin)

Treat water with Formalin, Malachite Green, Acriflavine or copper sulfate.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Protozoa (Skin Parasites)

 

White spots on body and fins, scraping body on rocks (flashing)

Treat water with Formalin, Malachite Green, Acriflavine or copper sulfate.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Protozoa (Skin Parasites)

Oodinium (Velvet Disease)

Golden speckled cast on skin

Treat water with
copper sulfate.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Protozoa (Internal Parasite)

Spironucleus (Hexamita)

Lesions in cichlids along head and lateral line (hole-in-head); weight loss in angelfish

Feed fish food containing Metronidazole.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Worms

Camallanus, Capillaria

Red Camallanus worms may protrude from vent (anus); poor growth, weight loss

Add Levamisole to food.
Feed an anti-parasite-medicated food.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank. Avoid feeding contaminated live food.

Worms

Skin & Gill Flukes

Inflamed gills, excess mucus on skin, scraping body on rocks (flashing)

Add Praziquantel to water. Feed an anti-parasite-medicated food.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Crustacea

Anchor Worms (Lernaea)

Gray to white worm-like parasites attached to the fish's skin

Remove visible parasites
with tweezers. Add Dimilin
or Trichlorfon to water.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Crustacea

Fish Lice (Argulus)

Small 1/2” discs that move across the skin of the fish or through the water

Add Trichlorfon or Dimilin
to water.

Avoid adding the water from the bag of new fish into your aquarium, and discard the water in the fish bag. Quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium in a separate isolation tank.

Poor Water Quality

Lack of Oxygen

Rapid gill movements, Fish rising to water surface to gulp air

Turn on filter or aerator, perform water change.

Keep filter running and use air stone and pump.

Poor Water Quality

 

Rapid gill movements, inflamed gills, excess mucus on skin, fins clamped to sides, lying on bottom, rapid deaths of multiple fish

Test water and conduct a 25% water change. If no improvement occurs, use an ammonia remover, aquarium salt or an appropriate water- quality-improvement product.

Test water quality frequently; conduct periodic water changes; ensure good aeration and filtration of the aquarium water.

Vet Assured™ Promise
All pets purchased at PetSmart are raised under our exclusive Vet Assured program and come with a 14-day satisfaction guarantee. Vet Assured is a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to improve the health and well-being of our pets. The program sets standards for the care of our pets by our live animal partners and store associates and establishes strict standards for the monitoring and prevention of common illnesses found in pets. PetSmart makes a significant investment in the care of our pets and it is apparent in the quality and comfort of the pets in our stores. However, if your pet becomes ill during this initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied with your pet for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price. Please keep your sales receipt and return the pet to the store where it was purchased if needed.

Sale prices valid in stores and online July 28 - August 24, 2014 unless otherwise noted. In store and online prices may vary. PetPerks® Membership required for most discounts in store.

Any discount or special offer on this website, including PetPerks offers, are not valid in Puerto Rico unless an offer specifically includes Puerto Rico.

Cualquier descuento u oferta especial en esta página, incluyendo las ofertas de PetPerks, no son válidas en Puerto Rico a menos que alguna oferta en específico indique lo contrario.