It’s easier to prevent disease, than it is to cure sick fish. Here’s a list of tasks and a preventative maintenance schedule that will help prevent stress and disease.
Check all your fish for signs of stress and disease. The earlier you spot a sick fish and begin to give that fish special care, the sooner it will recover, and the less likely that disease will spread to other fish. Is the water cloudy or foamy? Does the water have an unusual odor? If so, take immediate action. Check the thermometer to be sure the temperature of the water is in the correct range for your fish. If your aquarium has a filter, check it to be sure that it is clean and the water is flowing at the usual rate. Feed your fish at least twice a day. Don’t feed them more than they will eat. Remove all uneaten bits of food after ten minutes. Loss of appetite is a sign of stress and disease so make sure that all the fish are eating. If any of your fish do not eat, look at them closely for other signs of stress and disease.
Change 20% of the water in the aquarium twice a week. This is one of the most important ways to care for your fish, keep them strong and vigorous, and prevent them from becoming sick. If you have gravel in the aquarium, make sure to wash it when you are changing the water.
Clean the aquarium thoroughly.
Do You Have Fish Gasping at the Water’s Surface?
A fish that is gasping at the surface could be due to a lack of oxygen in the water or the fish’s inability to absorb the oxygen from the water. If there is just one or only a few fish gasping at the surface, but the other fish are normal, then the water probably has plenty of oxygen and you should immediately treat the gasping fish. On the other hand, if almost all the fish are gasping, then there is probably a lack of oxygen in the water, and you should immediately do the following:
Check the Filter
Check the filter to be sure it’s working properly. If it’s not working properly, immediately fix it.
Check the Water Temperature
Check the water temperature on the thermometer if this aquarium has a heater. If the temperature is out of the correct range, then adjust the aquarium heater.
Check the Water Surface
If there is oil or scum, then carefully scoop water off the surface until you’ve removed two inches of water and replace the water with fresh safe water. Add aquarium salt until the water has a total of one tablespoon of aquarium salt for each five gallons of water. Finally add a water conditioner that can be found online or in in stores that sell pet fish.