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If you raise fish, the most important thing is to keep your aquarium fish happy and healthy. There are a lot of factors that can affect a fish's health. As a fish owner, we should be responsible for maintaining the health of our fishes in excellent condition.

Fish Disease

Fish disease is the greatest threat to aquarium fishes. There are many lower life forms such as virus, bacteria, fungus, protozoan and other parasites that can cause disease to fishes and these are called pathogens.

Where does Fish Disease come from?

Each aquarium contains pathogenic bacteria and fungus spores as part of its normal flora and fauna.

Every fish also carries its own parasites and bacteria, some even come with internal fungus.

With all these factors in mind, it may seem surprising that fish are not constantly suffering from disease.

How Do Fish Remain Healthy?

Fish, like humans, have their own immune system to fight against diseases. Should any disease organisms breach the immune system barrier, the immune system will send out agents to attack the disease.

However, there is a delicate balance that must be maintained between the fish and disease organisms for the fish to remain healthy.

What happens if the balance is upset?

There are 3 ways in which the balance can be tipped.

1. By the fish becoming stressed. This reduces the effectiveness of the immune system.

2. By the population of pathogens increasing rapidly as a result of condusive conditions.

3. New disease organisms being introduced into the aquarium.

Keeping the Fish Healthy

Following some simple rules can reduce the possibility of a disease outbreak.

Feed a good, varied balanced diet. A staple flake diet supplemented with freeze dried food is an excellent combination.

Carry out regular water changes to maintain water quality. Use anti-chlorine solutions to make fresh tap water suitable for aquarium use.

Add anti-stress solutions to reduce stress in fish and anti-bacteria/fungus solutions to reduce the possibility of a disease outbreak.

Use a filter to suck in dirt, bacteria, particles and other contamination. Change the filter cotton wool regularly. Use a good filtration system.

Ensure adequate oxygen is supplied to the aquarium.

Use appropriate aquarium decoration, allowing sufficient hiding places and providing for any special needs of individual fish species.

Do not mix ferocious fish species such as tiger barbs with guppies, swordtails, and lilies as aggressive fishes can attack other fishes.

Some fish like to go in groups or pairs, others in singles. Lilies seem to prefer singles. If two lilies are to be grouped together, ensure that adequate shelter is provided for each lily. For example, give a bridge to one lily and perhaps a small castle to the second lily.

Do not overfeed the fishes. Feeding them two times a day is sufficient.

By following these effective, proven and simple rules, your fish will stay healthier, happier and live longer.