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Parasites in Fish

Parasites in fish are not necessarily harmful. Some parasites will have no effect whatsoever on your fish, but it is a topic that you should become educated about as much as possible. Though it may not seem like the most entertaining reading, it is definitely worth your time to invest in a bit of educational reading if you are a fish owner.

Parasites in fish can be one of two varieties: ectoparasites or endoparasites. Ectoparasites live on the outside of their host, while endoparasites live on the inside of your animal. Parasites in fish can be transmitted through one of three methods. They can be transmitted either from fish to fish, through water, or through the tank substrate (gravel). It is important to know in general fish care, how to look for signs that your fish may be infected.

The best and most efficient way to do this is to have a professional periodically check your aquatic animals. Unfortunately, most veterinarians do not have any specialty in fish care. Most of them, in fact, have very little experience in dealing with fish at all. If you cannot find a local veterinarian who does treat fish, try to enlist one of them to aid you in treating your fish. If you can persuade your local veterinarian to at least help you try to diagnose and treat your fish, then you will have professional help in caring for your animals.

If you discover that your fish do have parassites, you can try treating them yourself, but be aware that there are very few commercially available medications that you can purchase at your local fish supplier. Your veterinarian, even if he does not typically treat fish, is your best bet for obtaining the best and most effective medications for treating parasites in fish.

A parasitic fish may exhibit signs that could be indicative of numerous other diseases, therefore parasites in fish are not usually easy to diagnose. Some general indicators may include slow swimming, swimming on its side, rapid movement of gills, or weight loss.

To be proactive in checking for parasites, you can perform frequent checks of the water in your tank. There are several bath treatments that are available, and these may solve your parasite problem for you if you catch it early enough. As always, prevention is the best cure for this problem. If you are vigilant in cleaning your tank, including the water supply, then you can easily keep parasites in fish from becoming a problem in your aquarium.

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