Clues to look for in the poor health of fish for the Novice

Discussion in 'Illness and Disease' started by Dave 54, May 2, 2014.

  1. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    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 and 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 no3 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 quite frankly to the novice anyway 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 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 affraid to ask questions no matter how silly they may seem to you because it wont be to us because hey guess what ???? ... we all start out as Novices in this Hobby once upon a time ...

    Dave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
    Dave 54, May 2, 2014
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  2. Dave 54

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Thanks, Dave! This needs to be a "sticky!"

    I have 3 new gold fish in QT as we speak. I started out with them in an indoor tank, so had the opportunity to view them from the side and close-up. This gave me the advantage of picking up on some very subtle changes in one of the fish, changes that I might not have noticed if the fish were in a tank setting. Or I might have noticed, but it might have been too late to intervene. But, then, at the time, I was wondering if I was over reacting..... You know, second-guessing myself..... "New parent" syndrome....

    Here's what I noticed: this fish swam with a very slight wobble; there was occas. fin clamping [very brief episodes, but the other 2 fish weren't doing it]; and then I noticed a very subtle head-up/tail-down attitude. Otherwise, this guy acted normal. So since the other 2 fish weren't doing any of this, I was concerned. It could have been any number of problems, but I settled on "swim bladder." This fish is an air-gobbler extraordinaire when it eats, so the symptoms fit. I made some changes in its feeding, and by the 2nd day, complete cure! Whew, was I relieved! So, it does pay to hone those observation skills!

    Two years ago, I would have laughed if anyone said I would be able to tell if a fish was sick -- my cats, yes -- fish..... But a transition is taking place........ :)
     
    Mmathis, May 2, 2014
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  3. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    My thoughts exactly TurtleMommy I've been wracking my brains for a while to put together something for the novice that they can read understand and basically not be embarrased away from the forum because they think the questions they wish to ask are silly and end up not asking which is sad :( .
    The first few weeks either makes or breaks a potential fish keeper so I put myself in their place and had a long hard think about things that could potentially derail them at the first hurdle,:(
    Its a serious learning curve that they need to be helped with that theu need to be helped with :cool:
    We could even extend this to more lessons such as treatments etc which will take a bit of doing as we have to cover everything they need to know about treating fish but in a simplified manner (y)

    Dave :) .
     
    Dave 54, May 2, 2014
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  4. Dave 54

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    One thing I've noticed ( here & other forums) is how many times people seem to jump to conclusions, and take one symptom and say, "that's what my fish has," and they treat for that without looking at the whole picture. And treating, without looking at the big picture, as well. You HAVE to look at the whole picture (ie, water quality, as well as any associated factors, etc.)
     
    Mmathis, May 2, 2014
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  5. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    Well there you are TurtleMommy all sticky'd lets hope it helps the Novice in the way I hink its going to do :)

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, May 3, 2014
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  6. Dave 54

    haver79

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    Thanks Dave, as a novice fish keeper myself, I appreciate this info
     
    haver79, May 3, 2014
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  7. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    Why thankyou we hope to do a series of novice 101 type sticky in the future to help with specific things but the best thng you can do to educte yourself is to read and study up on our hobby , with Amazon the books you'll need cost not alot on amazon nowadays and I promise you'll learn alott if you do it that way. infact thank you again for giving me an idea for the first of the series :D(y)

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, May 3, 2014
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  8. Dave 54

    haver79

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    The biggest fear I have for my fish aside of a predator (heron) which I have seen at near by creek but not yet at my pond, is some kind of health issue or parasite. And not knowing how to deal with it. Of course my first course of action would be to ask for advise from my forum friends. :)
    I need to order a book which I know you have suggested on this forum but cant remember the name of, regarding basic fish keeping and health issues.
     
    haver79, May 3, 2014
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  9. Dave 54

    haver79

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    Dave I think I jinxed myself as I went out today and discovered my fishies have ick. Ugggg
    Now what??? I posted a thread in illness and disease.
     
    haver79, May 3, 2014
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  10. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    Yes its not a problem you'll soon have it in hand , well help you though it

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, May 4, 2014
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  11. Dave 54

    R.Rose

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    Dave,
    I'm starting over and belong in the novice section. I bookmarked this thread and is it OK to print it? Do i need your OK? I would like to tape it to the inside door of my garden cabinet. I hope to add a few new fish.after the ick clears up. I plan on setting up a quarantine tank. Looking forward to reading the info for novices. Rose
     
    R.Rose, Jul 14, 2014
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  12. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    you have my permission to print it if it helps you with your fish keeping Val and I dont have a problem with that we believe information should be freely given however if you buy this book it will help you imensely :-
    The Manual of Fish Health ISBN 0861013869. Dr Chris Andrews Adrian Exell, Dr Neville Carrington. it has lots of really good fish health information and can be bought on Amazon quite cheaply .

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jul 14, 2014
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  13. Dave 54

    R.Rose

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    Thank you Dave. I found the book and will be ordering it. I agree with you that fish are not toss-a-ways. Over the years I have taken measures to protect them from predators, winter freezing with reduced O2 dangers, and human accidental actions as fertilizer run off, grass mower clippings or its gas fumes getting into the pond. Everything seemed to be functioning well up to this year so I am back to square one and will be far more vigilant as previously discussed. My fish are resting in a shady area in my garden with koi statues sitting over them for remembrance. To put them in the trash would be heartless as they gave us lots of joy and made our pond alive.
    I didn't know that goldfish could live longer than15 years. I have an interesting question, If the fish outlive the pond owner probably will have to make some sort of provision with the arrangement for them upon one's death.
    Each step I take now I question myself if it is the correct measure. My phosphate level is elevated in the pond and our tap water reads the same. I think phosphate reducer should be applied, less than required at first so the fish adjust to it. I hope this book will be helpful along with using common sense.
    Rose
     
    R.Rose, Jul 14, 2014
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  14. Dave 54

    R.Rose

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    I received the book that Dave recommended. I started reading it and it is packed full of necessary info. Under $15.00 paperback. Barnum Noble Books on line. Wish I had it years ago.
    I am scrutinizing them when the sun is out to look for new or not quite healed problems. I think now too much info is making me question what I see if I am looking at problems or not. They are black goldfish and I am looking at tiny white steak marks on the fins and tails. Not sure if they are a problem or scar tissue from the illnesses they had. Will take steps per the book.
    The book also covers aquarium fish issues.
     
    R.Rose, Aug 3, 2014
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  15. Dave 54

    Dave 54

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    We are the same as you we protect against herons , we havve the pond unsulated for the winter and have policarbonate roofing sheets to keep the heat in .
    The trick is to read the book then put it away till you have a problem dont what ever you do go looking for them you'll only end up being totally paranoid .
    Goldfish frequently ;ive to 40 koi upwards of 80 years old and yes we have a lady friend called Max who runs the UK's only goldfish and koi rescue service in the UK who will take them off our hands where we get far to old for this hobby :happy:
    Common scence is how Fish keepers tick my friend.

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, May 16, 2015
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  16. Dave 54

    Miga Milan

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    Thanks for passing this helpful tips and info..I will look for this book
     
    Miga Milan, Jul 27, 2016
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  17. Dave 54

    Usman

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    Thnx very helpful
     
    Usman, Aug 6, 2016
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