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Fish Disease
of Tropical Fish, Goldfish, and Bettas
This page discusses fish disease in Tropical Fish, Goldfish, Bettas, and other Aquarium Fish with Signs of Stress and Disease.

"What has caused my fish to be sick?"
Is a question we hear quite frequently, and it is a very difficult question to answer. Especially when we are emailed a few symptoms, and so we hesitate to make such a diagnosis by email, because we don't think it can be done accurately by anyone.

Even when we see a sick fish, it's difficult to determine the cause of a fish's symptoms, so it's unlikely that we will be able to pick a specific treatment.

A properly equipped laboratory could perform a sensitivity test by culturing a small sample from the fish. This test might show that a particular antibiotic is an effective treatment. Then the fish could be treated with that antibiotic, and a cure would be more likely.

Such tests are available, but cost much more than the value of most fish. We have performed such tests in our facility. In some cases the tests conclusively indicated which antibiotic or combination of antibiotics to use. But in many cases the test did not determine which antibiotic to use. The bacteria may have been resistant to the antibiotics, or the pathogen may not have been a bacteria.

Even if the pathogen is a bacteria, without a positive result from such a test, it is difficult to guess the antibiotic that will be effective in treating the bacteria. If we just guess which antibiotic might be effective, there is the risk of killing some of the beneficial bacteria, and there is the risk of producing pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic.

We have been criticized for the advice given on this page, but we have thoroughly tested it for many years, and in our opinion the Recommended Treatment is the best treatment to give your fish, unless you have the results from expensive laboratory tests. Click here now to read the six steps in the Recommended Treatment.

More Serious Diseases that are not cured by the Recommended Treatment may require more powerful medications. Click here for information about such medications.
Books about Fish Disease
The books shown below are listed on You can click on the image of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Handbook of Fish Diseases
By Dieter Untergasser, et al
160 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   A-Z of Tropical Fish Diseases ...
By Peter Burgess, Mary Bailey, and  Adrian Exell
392 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Colorguide of ... Diseases
By Gerald Bassleer
272 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Confessions of a Fish Doctor
By Scott Bodie
Click here for a complete list of books about Diseases of Tropical Fish at
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This page was updated on August 20, 2015.


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