When starting out as a novice in our hobby your knowledge of fish health issues is virtually nil and when you start to hit major health issues this indeed for the novice can be very daunting indeed. Many fall at the first hurdle giving fish-keeping up as a bad job because their fish have fallen ill then died because of either lack of treatment simply because they didn't know what they were looking out for.
This can be avoided if only the novice would invest a little time in studying our hobby perhaps even buying a book or two but sadly many don't and their fish all perish.
This shouldn't happen yet it still does time and time again so what if anything can the Novice do about this?
Firstly don't be afraid to ask questions on the forum there are a number of members including ourselves who are more than willing to share their knowledge with the Novice all we ask is you listen to what we say then put a plan of action in place to treat your fish but this cannot be done if you don't know know what your looking out for.......
There are a number of pointers or indicators that all may not be well in our ponds so what is it we should be looking out for?
1) Your fish begins to isolate itself from your other fish and doesn't join the others during feeding times.
2) Your fish start rubbing or flashing against rocks and other objects in your pond (possible parasite).
3) Gasping for air at the surface of the water and show rapid gill movements (can indicate bad water conditions as well as parasites).
4) Your fish starts to develop red areas red spots or raised scales (poor water quality or parasites).
5) Your fish starts to show signs of being listless in the water and sits on the bottom of the pond with clamped finnage (parasite).
6) Your fishes Fins go read and show blood vessels and the fins start to get frayed or ragged (parasite).
7) Your fish has a loss of appetite (see no 2).
8) Your fish develops the inability to dive down from the surface when you approach your pond (see no. 3 plus swimbladder disorder, may be from gulping air).
9) The colour of your fish becomes washed out and becomes lighter than its natural colouration, (this could also be stress related through any and every of the above).
How can you avoid this list of frightening symptoms:
1) Keep good water conditions in your pond good water to fish is like good air to us humans start to pollute it we suffer as do your fish.
2) Buy water drop test kits for the following Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ph, Gh, Kh your fish shop will instruct you as to their use as will the instructions (test on a regular basis).
3) Make a Separate Quarantine facility for your new fish to go into of at least thirty gallons......
4) QT for four weeks, as it sometimes takes a while for problems to emerge especially where parasites are concerned
5) Regular maintenance of pond, pumps and filters.
6) Learn to read your fish nines out of ten they will tell you that something is wrong with them .
7) Educate yourselves.
8) Never over feed.
9) Last of all do not be afraid to ask questions no matter how silly they may seem to you because it wont be to us because hey guess what ???? ... we all started out as novices in this hobby once upon a time ...