What Are the Types of Tropical Fish Diseases

Tropical fish are the most preferred among indoor aquarium hobbyists, mostly for their colorful varieties.

But maintaining these fish healthy and disease free is a challenge. Identifying a symptom is the first stage to curing a fish disease.

The sooner it is done, the better are the chances of survival and prevention of the spread of the disease to the rest of the pool.

Types of Tropical Fish Diseases

Here are a few common types of tropical fish diseases, their symptoms and cure:


Dropsy is a condition caused by bacterial infection. It affects the kidneys causing renal failure. The symptoms of the disease are raised scales, faded body color and bloating body. Malnutrition and unhealthy conditions in the fish tank are the reasons for this infection. It is contagious and spreads rapidly among weak fish. It is a fatal diseases and the best remedy is prevention. So at the first sign of the disease the affected fish should be removed and quarantined. The fish tank should also be cleaned and disinfected immediately to prevent the spread of the disease.

Ich (Ichthyophtirius)

Also called as the white spot disease, Ich is caused by a parasitic infection. The affected fish has white spots on its body concentrated more around the fins. They are raised and slimy. The infection is caused by contaminated water. This is a common occurrence in the new tanks where the water has had little time to be processed through nitrogen cycle and the fish are introduced earlier than recommended. The first step would be to remove the affected fish and quarantine them. The next step is to increase the temperature of the tank and medicate the water with an anti parasitic.

Fin Rot

This is a bacterial infection that affects the fins of the fish. The fins of the fish appear discolored, frayed and rotten. Their tips turn pale and the fish looks visibly sick and listless. The disease is contagious and caused due to contaminated water and poor hygienic conditions in the tank. It can also be caused due to injuries from bullying by bigger fish. The best remedy is to use a broad spectrum antibiotic for medication and change the tank water every week.

Ammonia Poisoning

The two main reasons for the occurrence of this disease would be high ammonia content and/or crowding in the tank. Though not contagious, it affects all the fish at the same time. The condition can be identified by red, inflamed fins, bleeding and breathlessness among the fish. Treatment would include changing the fish to a bigger, well aerated and hygienic tank.

Other common infections caused in tropical fish are: pop-eye, velvet and swim bladder disease. The best way to avoid the incidence of these types of tropical fish diseases is to maintain the tank clean, its water healthy and aerated and use of appropriate medication from time to time.


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