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Disease control in a nut shell…..

People have been asking me about the do’s and the dont’s of fish keeping and pointers here and there.Well for one there are no miracles and no miracle treatments for one.There is only science and reality.Yes this is a science.Fish keeping is a living visceral thing.As I mentioned before we communicate with our fish via test kits there is no other fish keeping so remember to buy your own kit do not let shops test your water for you that is doing you no favour……you will remain ignorant of what is going on.

Okay my train of thought keeps going all over the place I am trying to do this with customers chatting to me…..arrrrgh….be polite Ian…..

The first real physical problem you will face as a fish keeper is recognizing the health status of your fish.

1.Fish should not rub themselves off objects in the aquarium.If you observe this behaviour then most likely you have a parasite problem.Make sure you have no nitrite levels as nitrite acts as an irritant as well as a physical poison it will also prevent your fish from assimilating oxygen this is a condition called black blood……it aint good!We can talk more about this some other time…..if you want.Anyway if your fish are flicking you have a problem.The main problem is the parasites we deal with are essentially invisible to the naked eye.If you can see something then it usually aint a major problem but as always there are exceptions.The main problems with parasites is the invisible damage they do.They will leave microscopic wounds that will become infected.This is called secondary infection.You can see this and nine times out of ten the infection will get colonized by a fungus this will be easier to see.And this is the mistake.Treating for fungus is not going to solve the original problem.

2.Fish should always have their fins spread out proud from the body unless they are fleeing from predators or moving particularly fast.

3.When you are in a shop and you put your hand to the surface of a tank fish should respond eagerly looking for food.If this does not happen then beware…..healthy fish are always hungry.

4.Buy your fish from a reputable supplier……not someone who sells fish because its a money spinner.Go to Aquatic Stores not superstores or garden centers manned by kids or idiots… will be fooled because you know no better.Follow my advice this is not rocket science.If you randomly buy fish then you will probably give up pretty soon.

5.We all have dead fish on occasion it is impossible to keep 450 tanks free from the odd floater….if you are in a shop with only a few tanks and plenty of floaters then leggit….that is the standard they have set for themselves there should be no excuse for selling dodgy animals period.

6.Learn to recognise whitespot it is the number one killer.All fish carry this parasite it appears like tiny salt grains all over the fish.A lot of stores have their tanks centralized so if one tank has it then they probably all have it.We have our systems running independently every metre that means each metre is self contained so we can limit health problems.That is the way it should be.

7.If you really want to learn about the hobby do not be afraid to ask questions.We love questions and we never get tired of answering them.Our motto is there is no such thing as a stupid question just a stupid answer.

8.Make sure your fish are packed separately.Do this and they will travel better.Do not let shops give you a dolly mixture in the one bag this is unforgivable.God knows what will happen in that bag before you arrive home.

9.If you see a problem well then mention it to a staff member.If you are not happy then let your feelings be known.Chances are your opinion will be correct have the dealers in the country have not got the slightest clue what they are actually doing so it is important to speak up.Common sense makes the best fish keeper.

10.If there is a problem in a dealers tank or system then you run the risk of bringing it home so under no circumstances buy fish from that tank or system and that’s the law!Do not be tempted to rescue a fish and treat it at home because if it is going to survive it should not be sick in the first place.