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Common Fish Diseases
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Prevent Rather Than Treat!
All in all, the majority of infections can be eliminated or prevented by frequent partial water changes, and ensuring that your fish lives in an appropriate environment (tank size, tank mates, etc) and water quality. Medications are rarely needed and should be avoided whenever possible.
 
Ich (White Spot)
This is a parasite which resembles grains of salt on your fish. At first the white spots are small, usually present within the gills of the fish. Your fish may breath heavily or scratch against decorations in an attempt to remove the parasite. Within a day or two the parasites will have grown and multiplied, covering the body of the fish with tiny white spots. There are many techniques available to fight off Ich.

Velvet (Oodinium)
This is also a parasite, but is luckily not as common as Ich. Velvet appears as a rust colored parasite which is very small and often difficult to see. It is usually clustered very heavily on the fish, forming sort of a rust colored blanket. Velvet attacks your fish very quickly and could even wipe out a tank in a matter of 2 days.

Fungal Infections
A fungal infection appears as a white cotton growth on the body or fins of the fish. The majority of white spots you see on your fish are going to be parasites.

Bacterial Infections
These usually appear as red patches or streaks on the body of the fish, or sometimes appear as damage to the fins of the fish, such as "fin rot". Bacterial infections are almost always due to poor, declining water conditions. This does not necessarily have to be high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. Lack of regular water changes will result in increased numbers of pathogens and other disease-causing organisms which thrive in neglected aquariums. Bacterial infections are also commonly associated with parasite infection, as a secondary infection