Aquarium Trouble Signs

July 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Aquarium Care, Fish Care, Fish Health

The faster that you are able to recognize trouble in your tank the better chance you have of fixing it before you lose fish. If you do not pick up on the early signs you could end up spending a lot of money replacing fish. If you do not know what the problem is you may bringing home new fish to a diseased tank. You should check your fish regularly for any signs of disease or strange behaviors. The more you know about your fish and their normal habits the sooner you will be able to detect if there is a problem in your tank.

Regular water testing is vital to maintaining a healthy tank. By keeping a careful watch on the levels of pH, nitrites and ammonia in your tank you can avoid some very serious problem. Water imbalance is not the only source of trouble in an aquarium. Fish can get all kinds of infections and diseases.


Many tropical fish diseases are very easy to see. Check for spots either black or white or any kind of growth or sores on your fish.


Rapid gill movement is a sign of fish stress. Stress can be caused by a number of things disease, abuse from other fish, or a change in water conditions.


Fins that are clamped close to the body are usually a sign of a sick fish. Ripped or torn fins can be an indication that this fish is being attacked by other fish in the tank. There are a variety of reasons why fish will attack other fish. They may not be compatible or a fish may be sick.

Strange Swimming

Look for fish that are swimming on their sides, in circles or are exhibiting jerky movements. These are usually indications that your fish has some kind of disease as many internal infections will cause your fish to have trouble with his buoyancy. A fish that is not swimming at all and is just laying on the bottom of the tank, is either very sick or very stressed.

Gasping for Air

If you notice that your fish are staying right at the top of the tank and seem to be trying to get air you probably have a lack of oxygen in the tank.

Loss of Scales

Scale loss is normally caused by either stress or disease.

Change in Eating Habits

You should take a bit of time to watch to your fish eat. Fish will normally eat any food given to them in a few minutes. If you notice that one of your fish has stopped eating and shows no interest in food you may have a problem. This fish is either sick or under stress.

Stress Causes

The most common causes of fish stress in a fish tank are poor water conditions, temperature changes, aggressive fish in the tank or disease.


Look for open sores or cuts. These could be caused by other fish in the tank. If other fish in the tank notice that another fish is sick or weak they may become very aggressive towards it. Sores and cuts may also have been caused by a sharp object.


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