Don’t Buy Sick Fish

by Nate Santora | December 5, 2011

Your new aquarium has finally finished cycling and your ready to buy your first fish. A percula clownfish is at the top of your wish list and it’s time to head out to the local fish stores and find the perfect fish. The first store you visit only has tomato clowns but the next store you drop by has one small percula clown. This is the type of fish you planned to get but is this specific fish you should buy? To help answer this question review the following checklist before laying down your hard earned cash. In my experience if the fish displays any of the these symptoms it is best not to purchase it.

1. Does the fish have any white spots or cotton like growths on it’s fins or body?

2. Does the fish have bruising or reddened areas that could indicate a bacterial infection?

3. Is the fish breathing rapidly?

4. Does the fish have trouble swimming?

5. Is the fish constantly swimming into the tanks return water?

6. Is the fish scratching it’s gills or body on objects in the aquarium?

7. Does the fish exhibit head shaking or shimmying?

8. Does the fish exhibit abnormal behavior for the species?

9. Does the fish refuse to eat?

10. Do any other fish in the tank display the above symptoms?

If you answered “No” to all of the questions on the checklist and provide your animals with a suitable environment you will experience very few losses. Fish that you consider to be healthy but have minor tears in the fins are ok to purchase as long there is no indication of bacterial or fungal infections.

In addition to the above checklist it is important to evaluate the general cleanliness of the store and livestock systems. A well maintained store Is a good indicator that the livestock are being cared for properly.

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