Fish Q&A Section:  Fin Disorders


Q:  One or several of my fish have redness at the base of their fins.

A:  This is a case of Bacterial Hemorrhagic Septicemia.  As this disease progresses, the fish will start to lose scales, the body will have red streaks and sores will develop if not treated.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with Oxytetracycline Powder in the feed for ten days if possible.

Q:  The fish's fins appear to be slowly eaten away and edged in white.

A:  This is a classic case of Fin and Tail Rot.  It is caused by a Pseudomonas Bacteria (A condition called: Pseudomoniasis).

Treatment:  There are quite a few things you can use to treat this condition.  TMP-Sulfa -or- Sulfa 4 TMP -or- Neomycin Sulfate -or- Tetracycline -or- Nitrofurazone.

Q:  My fish have an off-white looking substance growing on the fins.

A:  This is a gram-negative bacterial infection called Columnaris Disease.  Some people often mistake this disease as a fungus.

Treatment:  Sulfa drugs work well for this.  TMP-Sulfa -or- Sulfa 4 TMP -or Triple Sulfa Powder.

Q:  The fins on my fish are all fuzzy and cotton-like.  The fins are eaten away.

A:  This sounds like a Saprolegnia Fungus.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with Forma-Green for 5-7 days.

Q:  The fins on my fish are frayed and ragged.  Some fins are split.  Some fish breathe heavily and some die quickly.

A:  This sounds like an Ammonia problem in the water.  Use an ammonia test kit and check for Nitrites also.  If you have any readings of Ammonia or Nitrites, do a partial water change immediately.  Increase the oxygen level if possible.

Treatment:  Use Aqua Gold to establish the proper level of nitrifying bacteria needed to cycle the water.

Q: The fish's fins look good and clear, but they have splits in them

A:  The fish may have a nutritional deficiency.  Check to make sure the diet requirements are met for the species of fish.  Are there aggressive species of fish in the tank.  The fish may have been involved in a territorial dispute (cichlids).

Treatment:  If the fish was involved in a fight, treat the fish in an isolation tank with Nitrofuracin Green.

Q:  The fish have black spots in their fins and tails.

A:  This is an encapsulated worm larvae (Metacercariae).

Treatment:  Although the fish can live to a ripe old age with this condition, Praziquantel -or- De-Los may be used to treat the fish.

Q:  The fish have small white spots all over their fins.

A:  Sounds like the fish has Ich.  Ich is usually caused by a drop in temperature.  Is this a new fish that was transferred to the tank in a plastic bag?  Is your tank in a drafty hallway?  Check to see if the heater is functioning properly.

Treatment:  Treat the fish with Malachite Green -or- Forma-Green -or- Copper Sulfate.  If the fish is a scaless fish, treat the fish with Methylene Blue -or- Acriflavine Neutral.

Q:  The fish have a cauliflower-like growth on, or at the base of the fins.

A:  This is Lymphocystis Virus and cannot be cured.  No suitable treatment known.



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