It turns out that discus fish can “catch” something and get sick. Discus Fish diseases?
It’s true; it is basic biology. Living organisms (discus fish) can be infected with disease.
You get sick, you go to the doctor. Your dog or cat gets sick, you carry them to the vet. What about fish? Where do they go when they get sick? Unfortunately, there is not a Fish Hospital in most neighborhoods. You will need to educate yourself on treatment procedures.
Pathogens are usually the cause of discus disease. They are the itty bitty critters that infect things. In the case of fish, these pathogens can reside in the tank water. Or, the pathogens can infect the fish by living in and under the scales and slime coat that is supposed to protect the fish.
Reasons for discus fish disease are varied. Fish are actually natural homes to disease carrying pathogens. So it is possible that a disease comes into the tank when you introduce a new discuss into the community.
Other reasons that discuss may fall prey to pathogens may be one of the following:
- When they become stressed – this can happen from other fish species that are too aggressive, or (believe it or not) when humans are too aggressive with the fish, such as continuously tapping on the tank glass.
- If there is a water quality problem that goes untreated, such as improper water pH or temperature.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
It is a good idea to have a resource manual (or an Internet connection) handy to diagnose your discus fish disease. If your discus is in need of medication, make sure you know the proper dosage. It may be a good idea to contact a professional before administering the medication.
NEVER mix medications without being instructed to do so. It is true that some medications can actually cause fatal results when mixed together. Yes, it is possible to overanalyze the problem and over medicate, causing more problems than your had originally. Just as in humans, the right dosage is critical. Don’t think that if 1 drop is good, 2 drops will be twice as good… follow the instructions.
And again, just as in humans or human pets, discus treatment may take time. Do not expect an overnight cure. If an antibiotic is indicated to treat a bacterial infection, make sure you treat the fish for at least 10 days. Otherwise, you will run the risk of creating a much stronger bacteria strain that is resistant to the antibiotic you first tried. Make sure you kill the pathogen with proper treatment for the proper length of time.