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Fish Swimming Erratically

If your fish are swimming erratically in your aquarium, anything could be happening. From simple fish behavior to illnesses, knowing what to do comes from knowing what to expect.

Fish sometimes get into phases where they play a lot. If you watch your fish regularly, you will know when their play times are as they are creatures of habit. Fish like to do the same things at the same time in the same way. This includes play, during which fish can do some pretty interesting things. Swimming erratically may be a way for a fish to call attention to himself, play chase with other fish, or avoid a fish that may be picking on him. Read up on fish behavior to determine if this is what is going on with your aquarium.

Another possibility for erratic swimming is illness. Since fish tend to frown on blood-draws, the only real way to find out what is going on in your tank is through water testing. Kits are available to help you test your aquarium water for parasites and bacteria, as well as pH. Too much acid or not enough nitrogen can cause your fish to behave strangely. If you don’t act quickly enough the damage may be fatal.

There are a lot of common ailments your fish may develop. You can expect that if there is a problem in your tank it is viral, bacterial, fungal or a parasite. You’ll need to have a good aquarium handbook on hand to read and reference your test results and know how to treat the problem. Sometimes fixing it could be as simple as a water additive or a water change. Other times you may need to completely overhaul your aquarium system.

Before you bring fish home to your new aquarium setup, test your water. Know what your system is lacking and how to fix the problem. Research the kinds of fish you want to have and know the characteristics of each. Keep a close eye on your tank when you introduce new fish or new live plants for changes in water and behavior. Be ready for the unexpected and you’ll know how to solve problems when your fish are swimming erratically.

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