Fish Q&A Section:  Changes In Behavior


Q:  My fish are listless and just sit on the bottom of the tank or Koi pond.

A:  Try checking the water temperature first.  If the weather has changed and it is cold outside, or your heater is malfunctioning... this could cause this condition.  If the temperature is fine, this sounds like a bacterial infection.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with TMP Sulfa -or- Gentamycin Sulfate.

Q:  My fish are breathing heavily.  I used an anti-parasitic treatment but it didn't work

A:  This sounds like the pH could be too high (alkalosis), or there is an Ammonia or Nitrite problem.  Check all water parameters with a test kit.

Treatment:  Do some partial water changes and make sure to use a dechlorinator.  If the pH is too high for the species of fish, use some Sodium Monophosphate to lower it.  If the Ammonia is too high, increase the aeration and use some Aqua-Gold.

Q:  My fish cannot swim correctly and whirls-wobbles around the tank

A:  This sounds like a bacterial infection of the swim bladder.

Treatment:  Use Erythromycin powder for 10 days. TMP Sulfa is also a good treatment for swim bladder disorders.

Whenever you suspect a swim bladder problem, do not pop your fish with a pin or needle!

Q:  My fish is stuck at the top of the water, and fights to swim down to the bottom.

A:  This could be an internal parasitic problem, especially in large cichlids.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with Paracide-D  Mix the medication in the food and feed it to the fish for 3-5 days.

Q:  My fish has turned dark and hides all the time.  The fish seems "spooked".

A:  First check to see if there is another aggressive fish in the tank, that is picking on this particular fish.  If you have small children or adults tapping on the glass, this could be the case.  Also, too much movement around the tank, or too much cleaning and disturbing the tank, might be the problem.  Water quality could also be an issue.

Treatment:  If none of the above, treat the fish with Parinox.

Q: The fish look fine, but then suddenly jerk and dart around the tank or pond.

A:  Your fish are affected by Parasites.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with De-Los in freshwater tanks -or- Praziquantel. in marine tanks

Q:  My fish hang at the top of the tank, or underneath the waterfall in the pond, and gasp for air.

A:  Your fish are affected by Gill Flukes

Treatment:  Treat the fish with De-Los in freshwater tanks or Praziquantel. in marine tanks

Q:  My fish used to eat readily, but now he won't eat at all.  His stomach is all bloated up.

A:  Sounds like the fish has internal Hexamita (Malawi Bloat).

Treatment:  Treat the fish with Metronidazole powder.  Try starving the fish for 1 week and feed him some Metronidazole in some frozen food.  Use 1/2 teaspoon per 1/2 pound of food.  Feed it to the fish once a day for 5-7 days.

Q:  My fish eats like a pig, but his belly is all swollen up.

A:  This sounds like internal parasites, worms probably.

Treatment:  Use Paracide-D in the feed.  Use 1/4 teaspoon per 100 grams of food.  Feed the medicated food to the fish once a day for 3-5 days.


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