Aquatics Unlimited: Articles: Buying Sick Fish
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Buying "Sick Fish"

for the week of 10/13/99

Many hobbyists are under the mistaken impression that it is possible to have fish that are absolutely free of parasites, bacteria and other possible disease-causing organisms. However, that is no more possible in the aquatic world than it is in our human one. Every fish has a few parasites, and plenty of bacteria inside and out: every fish in your tank, every fish in our tanks, and every fish in nature.

Does that mean that every fish in the world is sick? Of course not. A few parasites cause virtually no harm; in fact, it’s not in the best interest of a parasite to cause severe harm to its host. On the other hand, when a fish is stressed (by sudden changes in water temperature or chemistry, for example), it’s immune system is impaired, and the handful of disease organisms are able to reproduce in great numbers.

This means two important things to the aquarist. First, obviously “sick” fish should never be added to an existing tank, where they can become disease factories, producing so many organisms that can overwhelm the previously healthy existing fish. But it is also important to realize that even healthy new fish may bring new pathogens into a tank - and that new fish will also be exposed to new parasites from the existing fish, even if they, too, are healthy.

This exchanging of "germs" can in itself lead to a disease outbreak, but rarely a very serious one. But if additional stress (such as aggression, new fish being chilled on the way home, or fish being exposed to dramatic changes in water chemistry) is encountered, an epidemic may ensue, affecting both old and new specimens.

Aquariums should be inspected closely for signs of infection for a few days after new fish have been added, and the hobbyist should be prepared to act promptly if such signs should appear.

"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.

Copyright © 1999 Aquatics Unlimited
All rights reserved.

Local Specials

Through 10-26-17

Pond Fish 50% OFF!

Pond Plants 50% OFF!

Select Saltwater Fish 20% - 30% OFF!

Dry Base Rock $2.50 per Lb

GLO-Fish 20% OFF!

All Freshwater Angelfish 20% OFF!

Cobalt Microvue Aquarium Kits 20% OFF!

Seachem Flake Foods 20% Off!

Kent Pro Scrapers 20% Off!

10 tank $16

20H tank $33

20L tank $33

29 tank $50

40 Breeder tank $86

55 tank $105

65 tank $141

75 tank $133

90 tank $225

120 tank $365

125 tank $306

150 tank $521

180 tank $617

210 tank $712

75 Overflow tank $270

90 Overflow tank $324

120 Overflow tank $474

125 Overflow tank $461

150 Overflow tank $663

180 Overflow tank $726

210 Overflow tank $932

Aqueon Pine Black Stands 20% Off!

REWARDS account may be required for special pricing. You may sign up and use the special pricing the same day!

* = SPECIAL ORDER; 100% deposit required

** = while supplies last

*** = specially marked tanks only; selection may vary during the sale

Aquatics Unlimited | 3550 S. 108th Street | Greenfield, WI 53228
Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Phone: 414-543-2552 | Fax: 414-543-4929