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How do I know if my fish are ill?

The answer to this is observation. By knowing what’s normal behaviour and deportment for your pets you can tell if they’re behaving strangely. For instance, swimming upside-down is normal for certain catfish, reef fishes and cichlids but definitely a sign of problems in goldfish!

Obvious signs of ill-heath are clamped fins, increased gill rates, flicking against decor and lethargic behaviour. The very first response to these symptoms should be a water test and often this will reveal the cause of the problem – after all, your pets will be very keen to die of old age and have immune systems that will combat disease when environmental conditions allow. Once you’ve ruled this out, take a photo on a camera phone and seek advice from an experienced member of shop staff. As treatment can be different depending on the pathogen involved, adding a medication ‘just in case’ can delay the use of a more effective cure after a proper diagnosis.

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