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Sometimes, it’s not easy to spot if a fish is suffering from a certain disease or not. We can only assume based on their scales, the size of the belly, manifestation of white or red spots, and appearance of protruding eyes, among others.

An outbreak of disease in fishes can be widespread and it could happen that you’re not even aware of what this disease is. In this case, take note of specific changes you notice your fish started exhibiting such as changes in eating behaviour. For more information on common diseases in fishes, check out the following:

Bacterial Disease. This can be as simple as exposure to another fish that has a disease. This is a very common occurrence in fishes and sometimes, it’s difficult to deal with and understand. Manifestations of these diseases can be either outside or inside of the body and can enter through open areas of the fish such as the gills.

Common types of bacterial infection: body ulcers or lesions, thus, destroying the fish’s internal organs and rotting of the fins or tail.

Why this happens:  Usually, it is due to parasites in the body, abrupt changes in aquarium temperature, and inferior water quality.

Viral Diseases. Common manifestations of viral diseases in fishes include protruding eyes, pale and bleeding eyes, discoloration of the fish’s body and scales. These are usually small infections that are not apparent so it’s harder to detect. But, as long as you know the symptoms and indications of a viral disease, you will be able to determine the correct treatment for it.

Non-Infectious Diseases. Although not contagious, just the presence of a “disease” can be disturbing to the owner. However, non-infectious diseases are usually caused by having high levels of ammonia in the water or low oxygen levels.  They can further be categorized as due to environmental (high ammonia and nitrate in water), genetic (genetic abnormalities like being born without a fin or a tail), or nutritional (lack of vitamin C in the fish’s diet) factors.

Fungal Disease. If you see whitish or greyish spots on your fish’s skin, fins, or gills, then there is a possibility that it is suffering from a fungal disease. Watch out for possibilities of your fish experiencing breathing difficulties. If this is the case, then most likely, the gills have been infected already. In the long run, even healthy fishes will also suffer the same fate, that is, if you keep the healthy and sickly fishes together in one aquarium.

When I had my very first aquarium, I was so anxious to change anything from it or add any fish. I had to ask my friend who happens to own a fish store to answer all the questions I had in mind. Fortunately, he was so patient to answer all my queries. So let me share with you the things I have learned from him.

He told me that the very first thing I should know before buying any fish is to understand everything about that fish. Well, true enough. I should learn the kinds of food it eats, the kind of environment (in terms of water condition) it prefers, how much growth it will have, and any special care it needs. I need to learn those things because any small error can bring injury to my fish.

Another thing I have learned is that I should know the kind of natural habitat they have. I cannot put a saltwater fish in a freshwater fish tank because they will never adapt and adjust to it. Also, a fish that is accustomed to soft-acid environment cannot be mixed with fish that are used to hard-alkaline water.

Compatibility is another important factor to consider. I cannot simply add any fish, as much as I want to, unless I know its compatibility with my existing fish. There are fishes that are territorial in nature. They do not want other species in the same environment where they are. They are likely to attack and impose harm to those that want to enter their territory. My fish must get along with one another so that conflicts are prevented.

Furthermore, aggressive types of fish cannot be combined with timid fish. The aggressive type will only harass and disturb the less aggressive ones. With constant disturbance and harassment, the timid fish will be under great stress and may eventually feel weak and die in the long run. In terms of feeding, the fast swimmer fish grabs all the food it can take, while the slow swimmer will be left with nothing more to eat.

Also, I learned that I need to know how much my fish will grow. Typically, a fish tank can hold an inch of a fish with one gallon of water. So, I cannot have a small aquarium that can only hold 3 gallons of water and at the same time put a fish that grows at least 5 inches. Simple arithmetic taught me that I cannot and will never do that.

Although I only had my first aquarium for three months, I can say that I have learned so many things about fishes and their needs. I also learned that it is not difficult to take care of them as long as you know everything about them, clean the fish tank, and follow regular feeding schedule.

If you’re a beginner when it comes to aquariums, it is highly-advisable that you stock up on knowledge before heading to the first pet store you see in your area. A lot of “well-meaning” salespersons would give advice as to the best starter fish for your aquarium, but seriously do not have enough know-how or training when it comes to fish and fish tanks.

So what is the main consideration when choosing your starter fish?

You only have one thing to remember and that is to select “hardy” fish. Hardy fish are non-fuzzy fish that do not need any maintenance at all. They can easily adjust to whatever environment they are put in and are said to be good for cycling your fish tanks. Cycling is the process wherein nitrates and ammonia from your tap water are removed by your hardy fish. Examples of hardy fish are guppy, comet, damselfish, and hawkfish.

Another group of hardy fish is called the Barbs. Cherry barbs, tiger barbs, goldfish and Bala sharks are just some examples of fishes belonging to this group. Barbs are also easy to care for and are generally thought of as peaceful fishes. Though some barbs are normally shy, tiger barbs become stressed out when left alone. On the other hand, Clown barbs easily catch diseases when they are not in warm water environment. Another reason why barbs are preferred over other fish species is its inexpensive cost, thus, if you’re a beginner and is still testing the grounds, you’ll find them a truly practical choice.

Because they don’t require any special conditions when it comes to food or changes in water quality, Danios are considered one of the better options for beginner aquarists. Small in size (only about 5 cm), they are fast swimmers mainly due to their elongated bodies. They develop bright colors as they grow, unlike when they are still younglings and look plain.

Cichlids are, in general, peaceful fishes although there are some species that tend to be timid when mixed with other fishes in an aquarium. Most cichlids grow to medium size only and feed mostly on anything – fish food, algae, and plants (there are some that eat small fishes, too). A good trait of the cichlids – regardless of specie – is they practice brood care, where they display some kind of parental care over larvae and eggs. Popular cichlids include the Oscar and the angelfish.

For additional information on starter fishes, please view this video by Marc Grover, co-owner of Underwater Depot.

Can you appreciate a saltwater aquarium full of different fish species but with dirty water? Can you grasp the beauty of the corals when you are having limited view because of filthy fish tank walls? I don’t think you can. You will be annoyed by just looking at the polluted water inside the aquarium and feel pity for all the inhabitants inside it.

Keeping your aquarium water clean is very important. The quality of water will definitely affect every living creature inside your tank. Unclear and blurred water indicate that the water is already polluted, and thus, it is time for you to replace the water in your tank.

Many are asking if they can use sea water directly from the ocean. The answer is… YES! Since it is where your saltwater fish came from in the first place. However, I do not recommend that you use sea water in your aquarium. Why? Because there’s a great possibility that the sea water contains parasites and other bacteria that may harm or even kill your fish. Although you can save a lot of money from using sea water, you might spend more in treating your fish with expensive medicines if the water contains bacteria in the first place. So, better be safe by using prepared saltwater. Pre-prepared saltwater is available in the market for your convenience. Although it is somehow expensive, you can be sure that it is very reliable to use.

Another way to keep your aquarium clean is by changing the water regularly. You do not have to replace entirely the whole aquarium with new saltwater. You can change the saltwater up to a certain degree. Ideally, aquarium water must be replaced with 10% to 15% of saltwater at least every two weeks, although you can change water for up to 25% once a month. This way, toxic organic wastes are removed gradually and do not accumulate in your fish tank.

On the other hand, changing more than the suggested water percentage (that is, more than 25%) is not a good idea. Marine fish are very sensitive to any changes in water temperature and its pH level. Sudden changes in salinity and temperature might injure and kill your fish. So, I highly recommend that you change the water at least every fortnight.

Lastly, I propose that the water you add is with the same pH level, salinity and temperature as your aquarium. This way, your fish will not be disturbed and alarmed by the newly added saltwater. Additionally, it is greatly advised that you prepare your new saltwater in a clean container. What’s the use of changing water if you used a dirty container for your saltwater? So, be sure that everything is clean and free from any harmful parasites and bacteria before you add and replace your saltwater.

I have been in the aquarium fish business for 10 years now. Many questions have been asked, but I think that the most important inquiry is how to keep your fish tank healthy and clean at all times. Once you have a hygienic and healthy aquarium, then all your fishes will surely be healthy as well. Here are some tips for you on how to keep your fish tank dirt-free and in good shape.

Aquarium Fish
In choosing an aquarium fish, you should never buy a fish that looks unhealthy and sick. This is to prevent contaminating the whole aquarium and spread diseases to other fishes. Do not buy fishes with broken fins or body scratches.

Adding New Fish
When you decide to add a new fish in your fish tank, it is necessary to put one fish at a time. The fish also needs to adjust to its new environment. To do this, add about 25% aquarium water in the plastic bag that contains the fish and then put the bag inside the aquarium. Wait for around 20 minutes before carefully releasing the fish into the aquarium.

Water
Water from the faucet usually contains chlorine, copper and chloramines, which are harmful to the fish. To free your tank from these harmful elements, use any available cycling and dechlorinating solution in the market. Change the water in the aquarium at least every two weeks.

Lighting
Fish needs light for about 8-10 hours a day. Timers are available in fish stores to make certain that enough light is achieved. A power failure may cause stress to the fish, thus, after a power failure, observe the fish, check the water temperature in the fish tank, and inspect all fish tank equipment for malfunction.

Feeding
Every living organism needs to eat. Although fish need to be fed regularly, you need to ensure that you never overfeed your fish or it may die. Foods your fish don’t eat become “left-overs” and when left in the tank, would turn into rotten fish food. Once eaten, it may result to gastrointestinal problem that may eventually bring about your fish’s premature death.

Medication
When your fish is under medication, remove any medicinal residue by adding carbon into the water and test your water regularly for any unusual changes to prevent any casualties. Also, never mix one type of medication with another type as this mixture of medications can be detrimental to your fish. Another important thing to remember is always ask for professional help when medicating your fish.

So, by following these simple tips, you will be able to have a healthy fish in your aquarium. Always keep in mind that a healthy and clean fish tank will absolutely produce healthy fish.

Welcome to Fish Tank Hobby News!

I am Matthew Evans, a self-proclaimed fish fan (and a proud one!). When I was younger, I was so amazed at how fishes can swim and swim and swim without getting tired at all. In fact, I couldn’t understand how come fishes would sleep with their  eyes open and why they eat specific fish food only.

Aside from that, I loved seeing their bright colors and huge fins, how fluidly they would swim from one place to another, and how they would open and close their mouths – as if talking to me (yeah, I used to talk to my pet fishes).

That started my passion with fishes. I cannot recall a time when I would not stare at pictures of fishes. Fish books and magazines became my best friends. Through much reading, I gained a lot of knowledge and courage to start my own aquarium. Friends started egging me to come up with a website that would talk about my greatest passion – fish! – and that is how Fish Tank Hobby News came about.

Come join me as I share all information I’ve gathered throughout the years. Let me be your guide if you’re a new aquarist. I’d like to learn from you, too. So please don not hesitate to send me an email or comment on articles you like – let’s share knowledge and grow this fishing fan community.

Have fun swimming!

Matt