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

seachem tidal filter 20% OFF!

aquavitro plant/coral tools 20% OFF!

aquavitro salinity salt 20% OFF!

hikari algae wafer 20% OFF!

elive single track strip light 20% OFF!

2.5 black tank $12

5.5 black tank $14

10 black tank $15

15L black tank $29

20H black tank $29

20L black tank $29

20X black tank $45*

29 black tank $45

30L black tank $55

30B black tank $69

30X black tank $69*

33 black tank $69*

37 black tank $69

38 black tank $79

40B black tank $79

40L black tank $89*

45 black tank $89

50B black tank $139*

55 black tank $99

65 black tank $139

75 black tank $129

90 black tank $199

120 black tank $329*

125 black tank $269*

150 black tank $459*

180 black tank $559*

210 black tank $659*

75 overflow tank $219*

90 overflow tank $269*

120 overflow tank $449*

125 overflow tank $379*

150 overflow tank $599*

180 overflow tank $659*

210 overflow tank $749*

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* = SPECIAL ORDER; 50% 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