One of the things that you would encounter when it comes to tropical fish keeping is knowing how to deal with diseases. One of the most common diseases among tropical fish is ich. Ich is actually short for Ichthyophthirius that belongs to the ciliated protozoan group. It is present in the aquarium all the time in small numbers but when a fish suffers from too much stress from sudden changes in it’s environment, it’s resistance decreases and it becomes more susceptible in developing a disease.

Ich also occurs usually after the introduction of a new fish to an established aquarium. Ich will be free-swimming until it sticks to the fish’s skin and then it forms a cyst, it will feed on the fish’s bodily fluids. How will you know that your fish is infected with ich? Look for small white spots that are showing mainly on the fins and body. It kinda’ looks like the fish is sprinkled with salt all over.

If you don’t like using harsh chemicals or any sort of medications, you can treat ich naturally by bringing the water temperature up to 85-88 degrees. Ich don’t like warm water so warm water will help kill them. You also have to increase aeration by adding air stones. Changing the water everyday is crucial in this kind of disease. Make use of a gravel washer and do a 50% water change. This will remove a large number of trophozoites and tomites from the fish tank. Tropical fish keeping and dealing with ich is fairly easy. Stick with the basics and make sure you target the root cause of the disease to cure your fish completely.

If your fish has inflamed gills and it is gasping for air at the surface, most probably, it is affected with ammonia stress or poisoning. The truth is, this disease can be easily prevented but if you’re pretty much new to this hobby, your tropical fish keeping skills may not be well-developed yet and you have to read and learn more. Do not add expensive and less hardy tropical fish and the aquarium had fully cycled. You also have to make sure that your aquarium is not too crowded. Perform frequent water changes to bring down the ammonia level. Another disease that you can prevent by keeping the water clean is fish fungus. These are cotton-like growths on the body that appear whitish or grayish. A medication like Jungle Labs Binox Crystal is enough to treat fungus problems.

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