How To Distinguish A Sick Fish From Healthy

How To Distinguish A Sick Fish From Healthy

We almost always correctly determine whether a person close to us feels good or ill, healthy or ill. This is noticeable by a change in his behavior, appearance, clear signs of the disease. It is also possible to distinguish a sick fish from a healthy one. To do this, you need to firmly know what specifically you should pay attention to first.

Our experience is everything!

To determine the health of the fish should every self-respecting aquarist. Ideally, this knowledge must be obtained even before the establishment in its aquarium of ornamental fish.

On this depends both the success of the first experience of keeping representatives of the aquatic fauna and the condition of the already existing home aquarium world.

Indeed, it is worth only once to make a mistake when buying a new fish, and a sick specimen can infect the pets that already live in your tank.

It seems to many novice aquarists that it is very difficult to distinguish a healthy fish from a patient, that this ability only comes with experience, after going through a difficult path of trial and error.

Of course, the experience (often. negative) contributes to the acquisition of knowledge, but even a beginner with a very high degree of probability is able to determine the health status of the ornamental fish. Unless, of course, he pre-examines some useful information and will pay close attention to certain signs.

How To Distinguish A Sick Fish From Healthy

Behavior and appearance. these are the main criteria by which you can learn about the status of any fish. Just like a person.

Signs of unhealthy behavior

Like people, fish of different species differ in their temperament. For one species is characterized by hyperactivity, others often behave calmly and even phlegmatic. But all healthy individuals exhibit vital activity, their inherent species character of behavior, perfectly respond to external stimuli (loud sounds, bright light).

  • A sign of the disease is also frequent breathing. Even if there is normal aeration in the aquarium, supplying enough air to the water, the pet tries to constantly float near the surface of the water. Such a course of action clearly indicates a health disorder.
  • One of the signs of the disease is just non-standard behavior, when the fish is passive all the time or its coordination of movements is disturbed. It can often lie on the ground without movement or constantly hide in the thickets of ornamental vegetation, as if hiding from prying eyes.
  • Behavior during feeding is another way to distinguish a healthy fish from a patient, since lack of appetite or a complete rejection of food indicates any disturbance in the body.
  • If the fish rub all over the decorative elements of the internal landscape of the aquarium, this also means that they are not all right. But here it should be borne in mind that for some species of African cichlids such behavior is considered normal. Especially when they are full.
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Appearance: signs of illness

Knowing in advance what a healthy fish should look like, you can determine with a certain degree of confidence its well-being by the shape of its body. Too thin or, on the contrary, too fat individual causes legitimate suspicion. The only exception is the female before spawning, when her tummy is swollen.

On the body of a healthy fish there should be no hillocks, ulcers or irregular protuberances, and the scales are always smooth and shiny. All scales fit snugly together. But if the scales are sticking out or in the scaly cover there are gaps or wounds, then you should not buy such an instance.

A sticky and cloudy plaque on the body also signals deviations from the normal state.


The health status of the animal is easily determined by the appearance of the gills. In healthy fish, gill covers during breathing should be evenly opened and tightly closed. The gills are swollen, their lids do not close completely. this is a clear sign of the presence of the disease. As well as strongly reddened gills, which are in case of poisoning with ammonia compounds.

Eyes and fins

Many can "tell" the eyes. In a healthy fish, they should be perfectly round, the color of the eyes. clean. But the clouded eyes just indicate her abnormal condition.

A healthy individual has smooth, straightened fins. Broken, frayed fins with red veins (if you look at the light) belong to the sick fish.

By the form of excrement, you can also distinguish a healthy specimen from the patient. In a healthy individual, they are short; in a patient, they can be long, stretching.

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Of course, even if you paid attention to the presence or absence of all these signs, then no one can give an absolute guarantee of the health of the newly purchased fish. The fact is that some diseases have a certain incubation period and appear at a certain time. It so happens that at the time of purchase the disease still did not show itself.

Well, if the fish began to hurt in your home aquarium, then you can accurately determine its condition. Immediately isolate her (until she infected all her neighbors if the disease is infectious) and proceed with treatment.

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