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The real key to success is found in three basic rules, each formulated to create a stable environment for

the fish. Rule one is to not overstock the tank with fish. The more fish there are in an aquarium, the faster
the water quality goes down. As noted earlier, the filter only slows this process.
The second rule is to not overfeed the fish. The accumulation of uneaten food in the tank will quickly
contaminate the water. Rule three is to do frequent partial water changes. This removes pollutants and
adds fresh, clean water to the aquarium, helping to maintain a healthy habitat.
If you understand these three rules and the reasoning behind them, you're well on your way to becoming
a successful aquarist.
What remains is to learn about the equipment you'll be using -- what you need and why you need it -- and
then to learn a little about the fish that you'll be setting up house for.

If the tank is overcrowded, if you consistently feed the fish too much food, and if you seldom do partial
water changes, the filter systemwill be unable to keep the water quality where it should be. If you find
yourself dealing with diseased and dying fish on a regular basis, you are almost certainly doing at least
one of these three things wrong.
Basic aquarium maintenance is not time consuming if the tank is set up correctly and you go about it
properly. You should get in the habit of looking at the fish closely every day or two, as well as checking
the water temperature.
Aquarium Image Gallery
Once each week, clean the inside of the front glass (and the side glass if you want), change 10 or 15
percent of the water, and clean the outside of the glass. You could do this every ten days, but it is usually
easier to remember if you perform maintenance on the same day each week.
If the tank is lightly stocked and you are careful about not overfeeding, this basic aquarium maintenance
can be done every other week. Undercrowding also means that more extensive maintenance, particularly
on the filter, doesn't have to be done as often either.
If you keep large fish that consume greater amounts of food and thus produce more waste products, you
may have to change as much as 50 percent of the water each time.
Note that tank size makes a difference, too. Not only are larger tanks a more stable aquatic environment
for the fish, but they also require less work than smaller aquariums.
When doing water changes, be sure to use what may be the most important accessory you can own: a
hydro-vacuum. Essentially, the hydro-vacuum consists of a hose to siphon the water from the tank with a
special attachment on the end that goes into the tank. The attachment is a long, clear tube that is much
wider than the siphon hose.

Every two to eight weeks, depending on how the tank is managed and what sort of fish it houses, the filter
materials in the power filter will need to be changed. If the mechanical filter material is reusable, place it
in a bucket with some aquarium water and squeeze it a few times to clean it or simply rinse it with tap
If you use tap water, make sure it is the same temperature as the tank water. If you are using some type
of bio-media in the power filter, follow the same procedure as for the mechanical filter material.
The granular activated carbon will have to be replaced. Once the carbon is saturated with molecules it
can't absorb any more.
Some hobbyists test the carbon by tinting the water very lightly with a harmless food dye. If the dye is
removed by the carbon, it does not need to be replaced. It is easier to simply use new carbon when
cleaning or changing the mechanical filter material.
This is all the maintenance an aquarium should require. Do not tear the tank down, clean everything
thoroughly, and then set it up again. This only destroys all of the beneficial bacteria in the aquarium,
forcing you to break in the tank again. If an aquarium requires that kind of cleaning, there are severe
overcrowding or maintenance problems that need to be dealt with.


Is a famous standard preparation used as a cure and more as a general preventionof most fish
diseases commonly faced by the aquarium trade.
It is widely used in fish farms and hatcheries all over the world; and byexporters of aquarium
fishes to cut down mortality rates during transit.
Unlike most Acriflavine based products "RID-ALL" General Aid willnot cause the lethal egg
binding in most aquarium fish.
For ich, mouth and body fungi, fin and tail rot, torn fins, and sore spots:add 5 ml. with one
teaspoonful of salt to 5 litres of aquarium water.
Repeat after 2 days if no improvement, using 10 ml.
For most GOLD FISH diseases such as red spots and bleeding veins on hns,constipation, bladder
problems, lack of appetite, use 5 ml to 10 litresof water plus one teaspoonful of salt.
As a general Tonic and when adding new fishes, or as a prevention of diseases,particularly in
baby fishes, use 5 ml. to 25 litres of water weekly.
120 ml.
200 ml.
1 litre
3.5 litres

5 litres

Creates natural water condition instantly by neutralising fresh tap water'schlorine content which
is very harmful to aquarium fishes.
It also removes heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury or cyanide normallyfound in water
collected from the lakes and springs.
It is economical, safe and non-toxic to aquarium plants and fishes.
Use 5 ml (one teaspoonful) to 25 litres of fresh tape water changed.
It should be used whenever fresh water is added to the aquarium.
120 ml
1 litre
3.5 litres
5 litres

Welcome to our TIPS ON LIFE Page.

This page is simply to serve those with minor problems in keeping their fishes alive and those with doubt
about some things that they were told. If you have a problem that is not covered here or you like to share the
problem with me, please email me and if suitable, will place it here or at the FAQ. The tips are questions that
we were most often asked. Some questions needed more comprehensive answers and will be in the FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions) Section. Some misconceptions are also answered here. All tips are from my own
personal experiences and in no way do I claim that my solutions are the one and only way to solve your
problems. Everyone, and even individual aquarium shops and fish farms will have their own solutions. Some
solutions are ancient but still workable while others may be completely without any scientific basis
whatsoever. Wherever possible, I try to give whatever scientific explanation so that you can understand


Do not keep Big fish with small fish. Big fish will eat small fish - no matter what species of fish. (Rule of


Salt does not evaporate, only water. Remember the school experiment where you dissolve some salt in the
beaker of water, boil the water until dry and then get the residue (salt) back ??

Not all fishes appreciates salt in the water. Hardwater and brackish water fishes will be most grateful for a
little salt in their tank but not softwater fishes - although they can tolerate some salt content. Examples of
Hardwater or Brackish water fishes are : Scats, Monos, Mollies, Guppies, most South African Cichlids, a
great deal of mouth breeders, etc. Use 1 teaspoon of salt to 10 US gallons of water (about 8 UK Gallons or
35 litres of water). Goldfish may not be happy in "salt" water for more than one week - they don't like the
difference in Osmatic pressure.


Too much salt will KILL ALL fishes. Follow the above guide and do not apply too much salt. More is not
better. Do you take panadol when you do not have a headache ?

Activated Carbon should be placed where there is a strong flow of water through it - like in a filter media.
Throwing it into the tank alone will not be effective. This is the same case for zeolite. The activated carbon
must be taken out and washed, and if possible, leave to dry completely before re-use. Replace after about 2

Zeolite have a strong affinity for salt and will adsorb salt from the water it comes in contact with.
Therefore, do not use it in marine or in the presence of fishes which require salt content.

Overfeeding kills. Most fishes know when to stop eating. The excess food in the tank can change the pH,
7. ammonia, nitrate levels, etc.. This in turn will kill your fishes if not checked. Feed what the fish can
consume in 5-10 minutes. If food is floating in the tank, you have overfed them. Remove the excess food.
Overnight water refers to water without chlorine content and is referred to because the water is left
overnight before use. If you fill your pail with water at 2 in the morning, does it mean that it is chlorinefree at 6 am ??? Chlorine-free water should be left for 24 hours and preferably aerated. Only then can you
call it overnight water or chlorine-free. Use RID-ALL Anti-Chlorine and save yourselves about trouble as
it removes chlorine instantly and even removes heavy metal present in the water. And also because it is
produced by us !!
Hardwater does not refer to water you can walk on. It refers to water with a great deal of minerals. The
9. pH is normally above 7 and seawater have a pH of between 8-8.5. Softwater have lesser minerals and have
a pH of less than 7. For most softwater fishes, a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 is suitable.
Excretion floating along the water surface is a sign of constipation of your fish. This is clearly seen in
10. bigger fishes like goldfish and kois as air bubbles can be seen within the sag. Use RID-ALL General Aid to
clear this.
Marine sand, crushed corals, and white sand (marble chips) should NOT be used in a freshwater tank.
Overtime, the sand will dissolve in the freshwater and your pH and hardness will be affected. Yellow
residue at the water surface is a symptom that your water is getting "harder". Test all gravel and sand by
11. placing a sample quantity in a glass container and pour vinegar or bleach, like Clorox and see the
reaction. Strong Effervescence or reaction - DO NOT USE.
Slight or minimal Effervescence - Okay to use. Always wash before using.

Use a heater to keep the temperature CONSTANT at between 28 and 30 degrees and not above that.
Unless your fish have a special requirement for higher temperature.

Try not to mix hardwater fishes with softwater fishes as the water chemistry is different and will be quite
13. difficult to keep both species alive together. It is not impossible, just difficult. One species may do better
than the other.

Terrapins require sunlight for their shell to grow properly (harden). Even fishes exposed to natural
sunlight have better colours.


Avoid using antibiotics unless you know what you are doing. Avoid all chemicals that destroy the 'good'
bacteria if you are using biological filtration.


If your fishes are very slimy, chances are that you have used too much salt, or something wrong with the
pH of your water- usually the water has become too acidic or too alkinline for your fish.


If you have a community tank, have an algae eater, some freshwater shrimps or even freshwater crabs
(small ones) to help keep the tank clean. Died or dying fishes can and will be consumed by the scavangers.

18. Decide on the fish you intent to keep before you decide on the tank size or the decorations.

Get a good reference Book. So you can check the basic water, temperature and special requirements for
your fishes and plants.


SUPPORT this free service : ALWAYS USE

AQUARIUM REMEDIES. Please visit our
home page at or click the logo below.

If anyone disagrees with my solutions, please email me, I will be most grateful for the feedback and (new)
input. All readers and surfers hereby agree to and accept that Hong Tai Aquarium Products Pte Ltd will not be
held responsible for any mishaps that might happen, especially since many factors like the pH, temperature or
water quality, etc of your fish tank is beyond our control !! If in doubt always ask, or email me.

Help ! My fishes died very soon after I pour them into my fish tank.


Whenever new fishes are added into a fish tank, they are subjected to shock which can kill
them. Shock from the temperature changes and chemical differences in water chemistry
between where they were last kept and the new environment. Slight variations can be
tolerated but each species have different degrees of tolerance. Even same species have
different tolerant levels. The basic solution is to limit or lessen as much of the shock as
possible. To introduce new fishes into your tank, always float the plastic bag of your fishes in
your tank for at least an hour. This is to climatize the temperature between your fishes in the
plastic bag with that of your fish tank. After that, add equal volume of water from your tank
to the plastic bag of fishes and float for between 15 mins to about half hour. This is to
minimise shock from chemical differences like differences in pH, Hardness, salinity, etc.
If you have a pH tester, you should test the pH of the water in the bag and the pH of your
tank. Adjust the pH OF YOUR TANK to that of the fishes in the bag if your tank is empty of
fishes. Remember that pH changes must be measured after about 1 hour and fishes cannot
tolerate pH changes of more than 0.3 point. Adjust your pH according to your pH adjuster
instructions. When all is in order, gently tip the bag over and allow the fishes to swim out.
If your setup includes a biological or undergravel filteration system, your fishes could die
suddenly because your tank setup is too new. Such tanks should be set-up with plants, filters,
etc, and left running for about 2 weeks prior to introducing fishes. This allow for the
nitrogen & ammonia cycle to settle down or to reach a balance. This will also allow plants to
take root before the arrival of fishes. (:-)


How do I make my fishes spawn and when they finally do, the eggs do not hatch. Why is this
so ?


When a pair of fish is ready to breed, they will usually do so without any external help. This
will of course require a female ripe with eggs and a young mature male, depending on
species. Egg scatters, like goldfish, tetras, barbs, Rasboras, etc., usually have more males to
each female. While most other egg layers like to make their own choices to pair-up (just like
humans). Breeding usually takes place in the morning when the water temperature is cooler
and the distractions, from noise and prying eyes, are less. To induce spawning, when you
have a ripe pair of fish, change 10%-20% of water the night before you want them to lay
their eggs. You should add RID-ALL BLACKWATER to keep the pH at a comfortable 6.5
for softwater fishes, and also to replenish the trace elements needed by most softwater
This should induce them to spawn. There is a number of factors as to why eggs do not hatch
- assuming that they are not eaten by the parents: Do they ALL turn white after a day or
two? If yes, especially in Discus and Angel fishes, sometimes, two females paired up as a pair.
Eggs not fertilised turns white after 24 hours. If you are sure that the eggs are fertilised, and
it turns white after a couple of days, and even so, only some at a time, then you may have a
fungus problem. Egg fungus attack the eggs and destroys them. Use RID-ALL
METHYLENE BLUE 1% which is specially formulated for treatment of egg fungus.

Temperature is another killer. Sudden changes in temperature can destroy the eggs. So keep
temperature constant by using a heater set at a temperature of between 28 C to 30 C.
Check also that pH remains constant and no sudden changes. Chlorine attack. Change water
only when necessaey so as not to disturb the parents as fear can and will caused them to eat
the eggs. When changing water, only 10% should be changed and anything more than
20% RID-ALL ANTI-CHLORINEshould be used. Usage should be immediate as new water
is introduced and not after the tank is full. Areation. Is the water getting sufficient areation?
If your problem still persist, please email me. (:-)

I want to set-up a fish tank, how big should the tank be? This is my first tank.
You should set-up with a tank as large as your budget or as much as as your space permits. A
good choice to start-up is a 30 gallon tank (about 36 x 16 x 16 inches) although a bigger tank
(48 x 18 x 18) will allow for more fishes and better aquascaping. Small tanks are less
forgiving when you make mistakes, like overfeeding, as the volume of water in question is
lesser and therefore changes in pH can be faster and more lethal. Bigger tanks have greater
volume of water to compensate changes in temperature and pH changes. Decide on the fish
A3. you intend to keep before buying your tank. A 36" tank can accomodate a small Arrowana
(Dragon fish) for a few months and soon it will be time to upgrade. Better to start off with a
48" x 24" x 24" tank if you have the budget. Community tanks - mixture of assorted fishes are easier to keep and maintain and allows for plants and aquascaping - i.e. landscaping in
an aquarium tank. If this is your first tank, get a fish tank that comes complete with lighting.
You will need a good reliable air pump, and a proper filtering system to maintain your tank.
Q4. What filter should I use and what other equipment do I need?
You will need a good strong air pump, a filtering system, lighting, plants, gravel, some
decorations - like drift wood. For a community tank, use an undergravel filter. As the name
implies, a filtering plate is placed under the gravel or sand. An uplift pipe than forces air up
the tube which inturn forces water through the gravel/sand into the tube and is uplifted by
the air. This cycle continues indefiniately as long as the air pump is not turned off. Bacteria
grows in the gravel/sand which acts as the filtering medium. (Please see Tips on Fish
Keeping - No 11.) This system is known as a biological filtering system where bacteria is used
to keep the water clean. This "good" bacteria converts ammonia and nitrites into nitrates
A4. which can then be absorbed by the plants. Hence, it is important to have live plants in this
setup. Change about 20% of water at least once a month from the bottom of the tank.
If you do not want to use this system, and decides to have a bare tank for easy maintenance,
paint the bottom and 3 sides of the glass blue or any dark colour - black would not be my
choice. This will make the fish colour stand out and the fishes will be less nervous. Use an
internal or external power filter to filter your water. Advantages: can use mechanical,
chemical or biological filtering medium or a combination of 2 or even all three types.
Disadvantage: Expensive to buy. For larger tanks, forget about using box filters as they are
not effective anyway. (:-)
Q5. How do I keep my plants and fishes together without the plants dying constantly?
It is not easy to maintain Plants in an aquarium Tank. Plants need strong lighting and some
substance for their roots to anchore on. The plants can be grown in the gravel in a pot or just
in the gravel flooring. If grown in a pot, you can put-in fertilizers but the pot will take up
space and can be unsightly.
A5. If your desire is to set-up a community tank, make sure you do not over plant or the fishes
will little place to swim about. Have overhead lighting and make sure it is strong. I prefer to
switch on in the day and off at night following my sleeping pattern. Remember that strong
lighting will also encourage algae growth. Plants require a suitable pH for them to grow in
just like fishes. Guppy plants require a pH similar to guppies and hence the common name.
So check on the special requirements of the fishes and the plants you intend to grow. (:-)

Human beings build or buy their homes depending on their financial capabilities and
requirements. If they are not happy with their neighbours they can move to another location of
their choice. Unfortunately the aquarium fishes live in whatever space we provide them and we
choose the company they keep. Therefore, before you buy any aquarium you must first decide
the types of fish you like to have. In this way you can design a housing system close to their
natural habitat. It is also easier to keep the same species of fish together in one aquarium. You
can also keep fishes of different species provided they are compatible with one another, have
same nutritional requirements, and can live in similar water conditions in the same community
tank. Try not to keep hard water and soft water species together or solely carnivorous (meat
eater) and vegetarian species together. However most aquarium fishes are omnivorous, eating a
combined diet and these species can live with carnivorous and vegetarian species. Some fish
(such as Oscar fish) can grow up to 8 inches or more in size and it is unwise to keep them with
Tetra species that hardly grow up to 2 inches.
Whether you like big or small fishes, be prepared to change to a bigger tank when the fishes you
first keep have grown in size. Generally, an average of 15 square unit of surface area may
accommodate one unit of body length of aquarium fish (tail excluded). You can calculate the sizes
of the tank required for the maximum quantity of fish you decided to keep. For example, if you
start with 5 goldfish 1 in size in a 10 gallon tank, be prepared to buy a 40 gallon tank when they
grow to 3 in size and so on. It is very cruel to keep the grown up fish in the same 10-gallon tank
although they may survive with proper aeration and filtering system. They must have enough
space to swim freely to be healthy and free from diseases.
Keep a good aquarium book as reference on the types of fish suitable for a community tank.
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There are many types of pumps and filters available for sale in the aquarium trade. You must
choose one that is most suitable for your purpose and not the most expensive . If you are keeping
Koi or goldfish, you will need a more elaborate system than if you are only keeping a few
guppies. Whatever system you select, you must bear in mind that your duty is to give the captive
fishes a system that is closest to their natural habitat.
Air pumps, such as power pumps, overhead pumps, vibrator pumps and piston pumps, are used
to pump air (atmospheric air) into the aquarium. Those pumps that pump water into the
aquariums or ponds are not normally used in home aquarium. For home aquarium use, the most
popular types are the power and vibrator pumps. Use the power pump with high capacity filter for
bigger aquarium and for fish that by nature produces considerable quantities of waste -- gold
fish and Koi are typical example, especially when they are overfed.
Use the double vibrator pumps with the most numbers of controllable outlets you can find for
your aquarium. The more outlets you have the more flexibility you can get for driving more
aerating stones and the different types of ornamentals.

A small inside filter such as a corner or box bubble filter will serve the purpose for a small
aquarium of about 10-gallon. To improve filtering efficiency you may use more than one box filter
or a bigger-sized box filter in the same aquarium. For the bigger aquarium -- about 30 gallons and
above, use under gravel filters (also known as biological filters) if your main interest is keeping all
sorts of small sizes tropical fishes. Use suitable gravel for your under gravel filters and choose
the right type of plants. Use pebbles with coarse sand for most acid and soft water fishes. Do not
use marble chips or coral sand unless you are keeping hard water and alkaline loving fishes or
marine fish. If you preferred bigger fishes (more than 3 inches) such as gold fish, Koi, Oscar, or
cichlids - it is more economical to use several box filters in one tank without gravel or plants.
Most bigger fish uproot plants for fun while some enjoy eating and nibbling them. If you like to
plant your aquarium please check the habits of your fish with the experienced hobbyists or refer
to aquarium books before you start.
Another types of overhead filters come with small size suction pumps which pump water to the
top of the tank and allow water to filter through by gravity force are efficient combination for use
in small aquarium with less than 10 gallon of water.
When you have a bigger aquarium of 20 gallons or more, overhead filters are not the best choice.
The filtering media become choked up easily and overflow all over the floor while the pump burnt
out whenever you forget to check the water level of the aquarium. The outside filters, whether
power or air operated, are also very popular but you have to check the filtering media regularly;
otherwise you will have to mop the floor daily.
There is another popular filtering equipment, which is actually an electric pump combined with
built-in filters. These pumps are specially made for use inside or outside the aquarium. With
proper attachments, cleaning of pumps and filters are neat and non-messy. Some good quality
external or internal power filters such as the Eheim or Vortex series are very efficient but costly.
Be careful if you intend to use Nitrifying bacteria for your biological systems. These live nitrifying
bacteria, some marketed as 'enzyme' are already dead even before they reach your tank,
especially the liquid form. Commercial preparations of nitrifying bacteria often fail because they
are sold well beyond the expected shelf life.
However, if you insist on using the nitrifying bacteria, buy the powder form with expiry date
indication from reputable aquarium shops. Please remember that even the best quality liquid type
have less than one year shelf life (most have only six month shelf life). The biggest users of these
products are the aquaculture companies (breeders of food fish, prawns, eel, etc.); water and
sewage treatment companies but not the aquarium trade.
Your properly set up tank with stabilised, matured and correct filtering media may contain more
bacteria than the bottle you pay at fantastic price.
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Water to fish is like air to humans. Fish will not survived if water is polluted with harmful toxins or
the chemistry of water is not suitable for their survival. Different species of fishes require
different range of water conditions for their well-being. However, most fishes are able to live
happily within a common range of water conditions.

As hobbyists, we group them together and provide them with the best conditions for their survival
within an aquarium.
Fishes selected for a community tank must be able to tolerate the same range of water conditions
such as water hardness, temperature and pH level; otherwise some fishes in the same aquarium
may look sick while others seem to be very healthy. Poor water conditions lead to stress in
captive fish. Stress weakens their immune systems, leading to increased susceptibility to
disease. Some of the most common stress problems and their causes in aquarium fish are:

High ammonia (safety level = below 0.02mg. /litre), nitrites (should not exceed 10mg/litre.),
and too high nitrates (should not exceed 50 mg/litre) content in water.
Water fluctuating more than +/- 10o C per day for several days. The temperature may be
increased or decreased by 10 C per minute slowly.
pH fluctuations should not be greater than +/- 0.3 units per day. Keep pH levels as
constant as possible and if necessary adjust gradually in steps of not more than +/- 0.3
unit per day.
Wrong pH, temperature, water hardness or softness can cause stress and slow death.
Overcrowded tanks, insufficient oxygen (poor aeration) can also leads to stress and
death. Maintain at least 3 mg per litre of dissolved oxygen in water.
Incompatible species in the same tank lead to cannibalism -- a great stress situation for
the poor smaller sized population.
Toxins in water due to accumulated toxic chemicals such as heavy metals or insecticide
Rough handling of fish -- use proper sized net to move fish from one tank to another. Do
not use your hands to catch them.
Complete change of water in any aquarium daily can also cause stress. To avoid
unnecessary stresses do not change more than 25% of water daily.

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A fish must eat the right quantity and quality of food to stay healthy. The aquarium fish depends
entirely on their keeper to provide them with an appropriate, well-balanced diet. The keeper must
at least know that their fish needs protein to replace the body cells as they wear out, carbohydrate
to provide energy and warmth, vitamins and minerals to help various organs to function properly
and to fight against diseases.
To supply the fish with a varied but balanced diet, the keeper must be able to source for high
quality flake or pellet food and supplement with good quality fresh live food. Make sure you buy
only the quality flake or pellet food with full display of analyzed ingredients manufactured by
reputable manufacturers. In Singapore and Malaysia, there are many pellet foods packed in
Japanese language plastic bags or containers containing nothing but high starch with low protein
contents. There are live food (daphnia, bloodworms and tubifex worms) available in the aquarium
shops, but these are also the main source of bacteria and parasites entering the aquarium.
The best live food is the freshly hatched brine shrimps but they are very small and more suitable
for small fish.
The next alternatives are the freeze-dried food. The freeze-dried Krill, bloodworms, daphnia and
tubifex worms are good quality food in addition to the flake or pellet food. Do not use frozen food
unless you know the source of supply because they could be unsold live worms frozen overnight.

A number of vitamins and minerals liquid supplements have recently appeared in the aquarium
market. In their form their therapeutic values are very doubtful. Firstly, not all vitamins and
minerals are water-soluble. If they are insoluble in water, the fish is unable to absorb the contents
through its gills -- the way it absorbs oxygen; by simple diffusion.
Water-soluble vitamins such as ascorbic acid, pyridoxine, thiamine, choline, folic acid, riboflavine,
pantothenic acid, B12, nicotinic acid, biotin and water-diffusible ions such as carbonates,
sulphates, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine and others, allow the fish absorb
them through their gills tissue or skin. But the main set back is the high loss of potency of most
water soluble vitamins in aquarium water -- some as high as 60% within 24 hours.
Oil soluble vitamins( A,E,D,K) and insoluble minerals (copper, magnesium, iron, and most trace
elements) will precipitate when diluted in water even when the best formulated solvents are used.
Thus you can see that the best way to feed your fish with vitamins and minerals is to incorporate
them into a prepared diet and feed the fish regularly. The amount of vitamins and minerals
required to vitalizes your fish in liquid form is impractical and costly. Imagine pouring liquid
vitamins and mineral into the ocean or even in an open cage in marine fish farming -- and expect
good results!
Aquarium fish should be fed regularly and in moderation. Feed at least twice a day and each time
with as much food as they can consume in a few minutes. In a community tank make sure that
the bottom feeders are not left without food because other feeders might have taken all the food
before it sinks to the bottom. If you happen to keep a special type of fish, make sure you know
what type of food it prefers otherwise it may starve to death.
Do not overfeed. The uneaten food will decay in the aquarium and cause pollution and fouling of
the tank.
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Keep a sharp look out for abnormal behavior among fishes during the first feed in the morning.

Look around the tank or pond for dead fish. If they are found check for cause of death:


Cannibalism among fishes -- remove either the bigger bully; or the smallest and
slowest moving fish (possibly due to sickness). Use RID-ALL GENERAL AID to
prevent further damages.
Attacked by birds or rodents -- If this really is the cause the only way to remedy
the situation is to cover the pond or tank with strong nylon nets.

During feeding, the fish all rush for food. Look out for:
o Those staying away by themselves at the bottom of the tank or pond this is an
early sign of Ich or flukes. Use RID-ALL ANTI-ICH if more 30% of the fish are in
this condition.
o Those not coming up immediately to eat -- float at angle in water but swim
slowly to food -- possibly gill or skin flukes or likely to have intestinal problems
or constipation if no visible external injuries and abnormalities are seen. Use RIDALL GENERAL AID. Double the dosage for fish bigger than 5 inches.

Those not taking food -- stay at side of pond or aquarium or the surface of water -rub against side of tanks, rocks or plants -- likely skin flukes or Ich or other
parasite infections. Use RID-ALL ANTI-ICH or Copper Aid.

Check for fishes that are externally off-colour and different from the most healthy
o If fish have whitish coat with darkened skin or are hyperaemic -- likely to be Costia
or Trichodina infections. Use RID-ALL ANTI-ICH or RID-ALL COPPER AID OR BOTH
o If fish have a red-velvet colour( some in rusty golden colour) spreading on their
skin -- most likely Oodinium. USE RID-ALL COPPER AID
o Most fish are flashing -- sign of Gill Flukes or Ich, but also all Unicellular and
Complex Parasites infections. Use RID-ALL ANTI-ICH alternate with COPPER AID.
o Fish with broken fins and tail -- beware of tail and fin rots -- an infectious bacterial
(4) If you noticed that the fishes are not as active and lively as on other days, but they all seems
to be normal in
general appearance. Then something may be wrong with the quality of aquarium water. Check
pH, hardness, ammonia and nitrite contents. Whatever the test results, it is always better to
change at least
25% of water in case some toxic substances have entered the aquarium from unknown origin
spray, cat's and dog's urine etc.). USE RID-ALL ANTI-CHORINE AND GENERAL AID
immediately after
change of water.
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The diseases of Aquarium fish from marine, cold and tropical waters species, are as complicated
as those from the human beings. Very little research has been done on the aquarium fish diseases
by dedicated ornamental fish culturists, veterinary scientists or fish-health professionals except
by a few fish enthusiasts or hobbyists who happened to be doctors from the medical profession.
Fortunately, during the last few years, there has been an increase in countries like Norway,
Greece, Chile, Canada, UK, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Korea, USA and Iceland. They
have extensive investments in the aquaculture industries with emphasis on food fish farming in
controlled water ways and marine cages and pens. Diseases in caged fish are more prevalent
than in the open sea. Therefore, for the food fish farmers, lack of positive control over health and
diet problems from fry to adult stages of their fish will result in delayed harvesting and thus lower
profits or even loss of income. The food fish rearing projects and hatcheries are hundreds of time
more than those of the ornamental fish industries.
Let us hope that we will soon be able to benefit from these food fish farmers research in fish
diseases as they started to breed food fish from eggs to adult fish the way we breed our aquarium
fish. We must remember that poor or inadequate environmental conditions induce stress and

cause ill health and most disease problems.

The following are the main causes of fish diseases in aquarium fish:
Poor water quality, incorrect pH level, wrong water temperature, unsuitable water
hardness, and impurities in the water, and salinity (too much salt in fresh water aquarium
or too little in marine aquarium).
High ammonia, nitrate, nitrite levels and unsanitary conditions in the tank.
Too high in stocking levels and problems in fish compatibility.
Too much or too little aeration, insufficient oxygen in water or too much carbon dioxide.
Improper diet and feeding regime . Fish are fed with wrong type of diet or top feeder are
given food that sink to the bottom. Overfeeding - too much uneaten food causes fouling
and pollution of aquarium.
Recent introduction of new fish or plants may introduce new parasites and diseases.
Proper quarantine systems are required to introduce new fish or plants into the aquarium
without introducing new problems.
Too much decaying plants or food causes bacterial bloom, and hence low oxygen content
in water.
Organic waste and toxic substances such as overdose or incorrect usage of antibiotics,
nitrofurans, copper sulphate, formaldehyde, parasitic ides, disinfectants and even the
common insecticide spray.
Improper maintenance or setting up of aquarium or pond such as wrong type of water
filtering systems and gravel are used.
Unnecessary transportation or rough handling of fish causes stress and external injuries.
Any item from the above cause diseases in most aquarium fishes. The hobbyist should remember
that there are plenty of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, fungi etc. waiting to invade and attack
your fishes the moment their immunological defense systems are not up to par.
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Preventive treatment is extremely important for fish heath. Prevent the above ten environmental
problems and you will find your aquarium fish facing very little health crisis. If your fish fall sick
they may be treated by three major routes of drug administration - in-feed or in-water medications
and by injections.
To make in-feed medication for ornamental fish, mix flake food, pellets or minced prawns with the
drugs (usually antibiotic drugs or drugs that are almost insoluble in water) and solidify in warm
agar or gelatin which is allowed to cool off before using as medicated feeds.
For in-water treatment of aquarium fishes the chemicals or drugs are added to the water for use
as a bath, flush, a dip or as a prolonged bath.

As a bath - a low concentration of drugs is added to the water and the fish are placed in
the solution for 30 to 60 minutes
As a prolonged bath - the concentration of drugs is even lower so that it is suitable for
prolonged immersion for several hours or even days.
As a flush - a higher concentration of drugs are added to the water which is then flushed
through with fresh incoming water. This means the fish will be in contact with the drug for
15 to 20 minutes.
In a dip - a highly concentrated solution of the drug is prepared and fish are netted into the
solution for 30 to 60 seconds and then replaced in their original tank. The concentrated
solution in a dip is also commonly used as a direct application for infections due to
external injuries or lesions on the body.

For big fishes like Koi, Big-sized Goldfish, Arrowanas, cichlids, you may consider using
injections. I would suggest, as a lay hobbyist, you should leave this to the veterinary surgeons or
the professionals.
For aquarium fish there are three main methods of injections: (1) Intraperitoneal or IP, (2)
Intramuscular or IM, and (3) Dorsal sinus. A small gauge needle such as the 25GA or less is
In Singapore, you need a poison license to buy controlled drugs and one to store them. Most
injections are antibiotics or sulpha drugs and they are mostly classified as scheduled poisons
(under the Poisons Act) in Singapore. These regulations make injecting sick fish a real
professional matter!
General identification of common fish diseases
As aquarium fish hobbyists we will only identify fish diseases by their visual signs in colour or
growth (if any) on the diseased fish body and fins. The behaviour of the diseased fish will also be
taken into consideration.
We leave the definitive identification procedures of diseases by using the microscope and
waiting for the bacteria cell growth to appear on culture media to the experts. After all, not all fish
hobbyists own high power microscope or facilities to prepare culture media. To simplify the
procedures in diagnosis and treatment of diseases, we separate them into the following groups:

( A ) Diseases caused by bacterial infections

Bacteria occur everywhere and come in various forms. They can be shaped like sphere, rod, or
spiral and arranged singly in clusters or chains. They are very numerous and most are useful to
humans and fishes.
They are responsible for the decay of dead plants and animals, a continuous process which
releases nutrients to be recycled repeatedly. In the aquatic environment, the result of bacterial
activities are responsible for the nitrification process, whereby the ammonia and nitrites are
converted to the less harmful nitrates in the biological systems. Bacteria are always present in
aquarium water but those which causes outbreaks of fish diseases occur only when the fishes are
kept in unsuitable conditions such as deteriorated water quality. Bacteria that cause diseases or
problems in aquarium water are known as pathogenic bacteria. Many pathogenic bacteria live
with our fishes and us. We will never totally get rid of them in our aquariums or ponds; we can
only control and contain them.

The main bacterial diseases in Aquarium fishes are:

FURUNCULOSIS - a very infectious diseases caused by Aeromonas Salmonicida. Affects mainly
trout, salmons and ulcer diseases of Koi and goldfishes. There are rod-shaped short gramnegative bacteria measuring about 2 microns. The pathogens are transmitted through infected
fish, skin parasites. Poor water quality foster a wider spread of the diseases.
DIAGNOSIS: External signs are swollen abdomen, redness at the base of fins, in the mouth, in the
grooves under the lower jaw, gill cover and around the anus and sometime the body wall are
covered with boils and lesions as big as long as 20 mm. These lesions will develop into ulcers in
some species, such as carps and Kois.
In Kois, the ulcers will further develop into Carp Erythrodermatitis, a skin disease which will
quickly lead to secondary fungal infections or invade the body leading to internal lesions and
The affected fish usually looks lethargic, darker in colour. It loses appetite, stays at side of
aquarium or pond and remains near the surface and is occasionally swept to downstream where
there is less water disturbance. Internal organs and body tissues are also inflamed.
There is no low cost effective treatment for this disease. If the fishes are cheap, destroy the
whole lot, disinfect all the utensils, equipment, tanks and ponds with calcium hydroxide for one
week before restarting your new stock. If you have expensive fish such as Koi or some rare
species, then you will have to try to save them.
The cheapest drug to use are the sulpha drugs such as combination of sulphamerazine (0.20g/kg
of fish per day for 7 days) and sulphaguanidine (0.10g/kg of fish per day for seven days) powders
incorporated into feeds for controlled feeding of sick fishes. Oxytetracyclines ( 55 mg. per kg. of
fish per day for 10 days) and Furazolidone (35 mg per kg. weight of fish per day for 20 days or
more) are most commonly used in feed to treat affected fish except that the latter is known to be
carcinogenic and banned for use in food fish farms.
Potentiated sulfonamides such as Tribressen (1mg/kg of fish per day for two weeks) are effective
against Furunculosis therapeutically, but the cost is very high. Oxolinic Acid (5mg/kg of fish per
day for 10 days), Furazolidone (35mg./kg of fish per day for 14 days), Nitrofurazone (75 mg/kg of
fish per day for 14 days ) and Oxytetracycline (55 mg/kg of fish per day for 10 days) have been
prescribed frequently as additive to feed affected fish in their medicinal diet with good results.
Some Koi breeders claimed to use Powders of Azactam Gentamycin, Kanamycin, and
Augmentin with great results! - but I believe that their wallets become very much lighter even
before they can see any real result. Alternatively, all fishes with external lesions or visible injuries
must be dipped in undiluted RID-ALL ANTI FUNGUS for at least 5 minutes before placing them in
the bath of the same medication of 5 ml. to 10 litres for big fish or 25 litres for small fish for about
3 days, then add in more medication for another week until the ulcer area begins to turn white.
If your fishes are mainly goldfish or Koi, then bath in RID-ALL KOI AND GOLDFISH SPECIAL
COLUMNARIS INFECTION (Tail and Finrot, Peduncle Diseases, Saddleback, "Cotton Wool"
Diseases, Black Patch Necrosis, Haemorrhagic and Ulcer Disease) mainly caused by Flexibacter
columnaris and various types of bacteria such as Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, and Cytophaga
Water with too high pH value and high temperatures, oxygen depletion, water contaminated with

faecal matter, poor water quality poorly maintained aquariums or ponds and acute stress can
encourage the disease.
COLUMNARIS is primarily an epithelial disease. It causes erosive and necrotic skin and gill
lesions that may become systemic. It often appears as whitish plaques (or thick mucus) with red
periphery on the head, percula and fins especially around the caudal fin.
Fragments of the fin rays may remain after the epithelium has sloughed leaving a ragged
appearance (fin rot).
Lesions rapidly progress to ulcers usually within 24 hours, which may be yellow or orange due to
masses of pigmented bacteria. Lesions may also form black patches on body, fin and back
(black patch necrosis).
The body, in severe cases may become bloated or swollen in some areas. Ulceration spread by
radial expansion may penetrate into deeper tissues producing a bacteremia (haemorrhagic
septicemia and ulcer) and with external fungus growth (cotton wool diseases).
Columnaris gill infection are less common but with high mortality because of impaired gill
filaments and tissues due to infections.
Peduncle Diseases are caused by several species of Cytophoga psychrophilus formally known as
myxobacteria.. If the bacteria invaded the fins causing necrosis of tissue and confine to the fins
alone is called fin rot disease, but when the necrosis enters tissue at the base of the caudal fin or
peduncle it is called the peduncle diseases.
The treatment regime for the above group of bacteria diseases are the same.
Antibiotics such as Oxytetracycline hydrochloride (100 mg per litre as prolonged bath daily for 3
days), and Neomycin sulphate (250mg. per 100 g feed every four hour for three days) or use
50mg/litre of water as long bath for at least three days), are effective treatment.
For prolonged immersion, use nifurpirinol 0.1mg. per litre and treat for 4 or 5 days. Alternatively
non-antibiotics treatments are also as effective.
Dilute RID-ALL COPPER AID from 5 ml. to 15 litres. Dipped the affected fish in the final solution
for about 5 to 10 minutes, before transferring them to another tank for a long bath with normal
dose of RID-ALL ANTI FUNGUS for at least three days.
EGG FUNGUS AND FISH FUNGUS - Fish and Egg Fungus are caused by various species of
aquatic fungi such as Saprolegnia and Achlya. There are thousands of fungi in the aquatic world
and most are saprophytes, feeding on dead organic matter. Some are parasites of animals and
plants and some are important source of antibiotics such as Penicillin. Popular types of fungi
are the yeast and mushrooms. Another type of fungal diseases affecting gill tissue, is known as
Branchiomycosis. It attacks mainly guppies.

DIAGNOSIS: A Cotton Wool-like growth or tufts on damaged skins and fins of fishes. Generally
the fish might have already suffered from other forms of infections (ich, ulcers etc.) which caused
the mucus layer to become damaged.
Fungus will then attack the damaged area forming the well known thin white threads known as the
fungal mat or mycelium. Large amount of fungus and fungal spores are always abundant where
there is plenty of decaying organic matter. As a result, the moment there is a dead fish egg
available, the spores will settle on the dead egg and the fungi grow rapidly to spread to the
adjacent healthy eggs killing the whole lot.
Some fungi developing on or in gill tissue penetrates blood vessels which cause the gill to appear
bright red from impaired circulation. These groups of Branchiomycosis fungi produce spores
attach to the gill, germinate and produce hyphae which penetrate gills epithelium. The infected
fish may be weak and lethargic with respiratory distress and sudden deaths are common. The
dead fish usually has bright red gills and if the pH of the water is acidic the mortality rate could
reach 50%.
Fungi are very infectious but fortunately, they attack only damaged area or lesions caused by
other diseases. They are usually secondary infections caused by insufficient care given to a
series of serious bacteria infections or physical damage. The natural layer of undamaged mucus
that covers the healthy fish is the best protection against fungus attack. There are many effective
remedies available for the treatment of fungus infection. Most antibiotics (use same dosage as in
bacterial infections) can be used against fungus but not as effective as against bacteria.
Rid-All Anti fungus at a dose of 5 ml. to 25 litres kills most fungi in the aquarium environment.
For better and quicker results remove the white threads or white mat with a twister and apply the
damaged area with undiluted Anti fungus before the general treatment.

(C) Parasites
There are thousands of various types of parasites infecting the aquarium fishes. Protozoan
ectoparasites are the most common parasites encountered in aquarium and cultured fish. This
group is a diverse array of mainly ciliates and flagellates that feed on the most superficial skin
layer, known as the epithelium.
Most feed only on the epithelium's surface, while some, (e.g. Ich) penetrate into the epithelium.
The feeding activities cause serious visual damage to the hosts. One of the most common
damages caused by the parasites are a reactive hyperplasia of the epithelium and an increase in
mucus production.
When the hyperplasia is severe, it appears as a white cyst or peppered with white dots and
cloudiness to the skin. The same problems can occur on the gills and leads to hypoxia
(insufficient oxygen intake).
All protozoan ectoparasites have a direct life cycle and reproduce faster at higher temperature.
Generation time of some species may be as little as 24 hours under favourable conditions. This
will quickly overwhelm a host population.
Effective treatment of these parasites depends on an understanding of the two major types of life
styles: nonencysting and encysting.
Another type of parasites are living worms in the internal organs of the host especially the
intestines, swim bladders, peritoneal cavities and even the gonads. Most of them have a very
complicated life cycle.

Nonencysting Protozoan Attached to gills, fins, in muscle tissue and on skins (e.g., Trichodina,
Ichthyobodo or Costia necatrix) and complete their life cycle on the host and are easily treated,
usually with a single short - term drug application. However if the infections are found in the
internal organs, the treatment can be difficult and unpredictable.
Encysting Protozoan The feeding stage feeds in a nodule formed in the skin or gill epithelium
and when mature they break through the epithelium, falls off the host and form an encapsulated
diving stage known as tomont which secretes a sticky capsule.
These reproductive capsules adhere to plants, nets, ornaments and any object found in the
They multiply by binary infusion and within 8 to 24 hour, large numbers of new swamer cells are
formed. They then break through the nodules (or cyst) and actively swim for a new host fish.
The reproductive cysts (e.g., Ichthyophthirus, Amyloodinium) are resistant to treatment, so
therapy must be directed at the free swimming, infective stage.
This requires that drugs and chemicals be present for a longer period or requires several
treatments be applied to ensure that all infective stages are destroyed.
DIAGNOSIS: There are more than 60,000 known types of parasites, which affect the health of
living things on earth. Several types of parasites also plague aquarium fish, which makes fish
keeping a real nuisance. We will deal with some of these which are commonly encountered by the

Unicellular (Protozoa):
CHILODINELLA infects gill mostly - whitish or bluish sheen on body, tattered
appearance to skin - feed by penetrating the host cells or directly on epithelium - advance
infestations cause skin ulcers, sliminess of the skin and secondary bacterial infections
and death.
TRICHODINA High mortality if infects small and baby fishes - attacks marine and
freshwater fish - infest both skin and gills - fish rub and scratch themselves against rocks
and plants or jerk violently with their fins.
COSTIA also known as Ichthyobodo necatrix - White-Coat diseases - bluish or whitish
film on body penetrates, the epithelium causing tissue irritation. Also leads to epithelial
hyperplasia and increase mucus production.
ICHTHYOPHTHIRIUS MUTIFILIIS (White sport diseases Ich) The most common
diseases of fresh water fish. Virtually all freshwater fish are susceptible this infection,
although scale less fish, such as catfish and loaches are especially vulnerable with
possible 100% mortality rate. They appear as white cysts or salt-like dusting on the skin,
fin and gills. A common temperature for ich outbreaks is 150 C to 250 C and complete their
life cycle in 3 to 6 days.
OODINIUM MARINE (amyloodinium) and FRESHWATER (piscinoodinium) (red -velvet
diseases) Both diseases have golden, dust-like sheen (velvet) on skin. The life cycle is
the same as for Ich but completed in 10 to 14 days under optimal condition.
GILL FLUKES (Dactylogyrus) an nonogenean infection which attack mainly the
superficial layers of the gills and cause the fish to suffer dyspnea and hypoxia.
SKIN FLUKES (Gyrodactylus) another common nonogenean infection, but this disease
causes cloudiness to skin, grey-white caste or irregular areas on skin, eroded fin, focal
hemorrhages on skin, and incite excess mucus production or pruritus.
FLAGELLATE PROTOZOA (Hexamita or Hole-In-The-Head Disease) This disease

mostly affects cichlids such as Angelfish, Discus, Oscars, large South American Cichlids
and even Gouramis.
Almost all known information regarding this disease are based on popular aquarium
literature and there are no published scientific reports. Some aquarium experts believe
that the diseases are caused by a mineral imbalance that results in skeletal damage
leading to the pitting lesions. Some claim that the disease is due to the lack of vitamin C
in normal diet.
Some speculate that heavy concentration of flagellates in the intestine can cause
maladsorption, leading to the mineral imbalance.
Another hypothesis is that a Hexamita-like flagellate, which is present as a latent intestinal
infection, spreads by both extension and hematogenously to the gall bladder, peritoneal
cavity, spleen, kidney, and associated vasculature. In later stages, the hole-in-the-head
lesions appear, first as pin point lesions that may discharge small, white short threads
of material containing the parasites and looks like white worm. The pin point lesions
become bigger as time goes on and may be as big as several millimeters across.
Secondary infections such as bacteria and fungi may set in and the ultimate cause of
death may be secondary microbial infections.
2. Complex Parasites:
These Groups Of Parasites attack the host either externally or internally or both. Most are
introduced into the aquarium from wild or pond-raised fish and mostly from live food such
as tubifex worms and live plants.
We only look into a few that commonly affect the freshwater aquarium keepers.
LICE ( Argulus) A saucer shaped crustacean which affects mostly Koi and gold fish.
Attack by inserting a pre-oral sting (stylet) into the host and sucking body fluid or blood
with its sucker mouth. Fish display violent erratic swimming and other abnormal behavior
because of the skin damage caused by the repeated piercing of the skin by the stylet
which injects toxic enzymes, causing irritation. Focal red lesion and focal darkening of
colour on skin.
ANCHOR WORM (Lernae) A lernacid copepod that possesses anchor-like processes for
securing themselves to the host. Koi, Goldfish and carps are most commonly affected.
Various sized (from barely visible to about 10 mm) copepods attached to oral cavity, gill
arches, or skin; erosion or ulceration; red area on skin, may be raised up to 5 mm in
LEECHES A parasitic species of annelids having a complete digestive tract with a
mouth in the anterior sucker and an anus in the posterior suckers. They are
hematophagous and suck blood even during the night. Hosts usually suffered severe
chronic anemia, small red or white lesions on skin and some can cause large ulcers on
skin and in the mouth.
TAPEWORMS (CESTODES) Usually appear as white, elongated, tangled piece of
segmented ribbon-like string and may grow up to several centimetres long. In the case of

heavy infestations the fish may become emaciated with heavy worm burdens with some
parasite protruding from the vent. By then the adult worm may have already infested the
peritoneal cavity, liver, or muscle and the intestine, which may become obstructed or
ROUNDWORM (NEMATODE) The adult forms are normally found in the digestive tract
where some can cause chronic wasting if present in high numbers. Heavy infestation
emaciates the host, producing a sharp ridge under the dorsal skin. The adult worms
bodies are thin, unsegmented, round, spindle shaped or thread-like cross-section.
PINWORMS or TREADWORMS (OXYURIDA) These worms, experts claimed affects only
the discus. They feed on the intestinal contents and damage the host by depriving
nourishment from them. The host becomes timid, darkens and finally wastes away.


Luckily for the fish hobbyist, the treatment procedure for most parasite infections in this
classification is all the same:

1. If the parasites are visible ,first remove them carefully with a surgical forceps. Pull
out slowly but some may still have their head embedded in the epithelium. Dab
the affected area with undiluted Rid-All Anti-Fungus or lotion Potassium
permanganate 1:1000
2. Use Rid-All Copper Aid at normal dosage for one day. Add Rid-All Anti-Ich on the
next day. On the 3rd day displace 25% water and add Copper Aid and Anti Ich
together at normal dosage of 5 ml to 25 litres for both types. Keep a good look out
on the 4th day and 5th day. If there is sign of improvement repeat the procedure
on the 6th day. If there is no improvement at all, change to one of the following
3. Malachite Green 0.75% in formalin 40%. Use 2 drops for five litres as bath for 3
4. Most effective treatment for nonencysted nematodes Levamisole Hydrochloride
at the dose of 10 mg per litre for prolonged immersion.
5. The best treatment is to use a pesticide or insecticide known as Dimilin
manufactured by Union Carbide Company also known as Diofluorobenzuron.
Usually one dose of 1 gm in 1000 Gallons of water is more than enough to kill all
Lice and Anchor worm in one single prolonged bath. Unfortunately you may need
a permit to use it.
6. Another popularly used Insecticide is an Organophosphorous known as
Trichlorfon or Masoten or Dipterex. Same dosage as Dimilin but much more toxic
to fish and the applicator. When added to water Trichlorfon degrades to the more
toxic Dichlorvos (DDVP). Both can cause neurotoxic poisoning in humans. So
avoid inhalation or absorption through the skin. This item is available from
flowers and nurseries shops. The liquid form is very unstable and if the solvent is
water, the potency is less than one week. If the powder looks wet, lumpy or
translucent it has degraded to the toxic Dichlorvos and should not be used.
Therefore if you buy a liquid form of Trichlorfon make sure you buy a reputable
products such as the Neguvon (an 8% Trichlorfon in a specially prepared solution)
otherwise you are wasting your money and time. This item may also need permit
to use in some countries.

INTERNAL PARASITES The most efficient way to treat internal parasites is to feed the fish orally with the drugs.
The following drugs are used in order of my preference for all known internal parasites

Praziquantel at 50 mg. per kilo of body weight per day. One dose is enough to
clear the body of adult cestodes, monogeneans, and possibly larval digeneans.
Mebendazole at 1 mg. per litre as long bath for 24 hours
Fenbendazole at 25 mg. Per kilo of body weight for 3 days and repeat one week

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Effective treatment of diseases for all things on earth depends on accurate diagnosis of the
diseases and the correct usage of the best drugs and chemicals available at that point of time.
Most drug failure in treating fish diseases is due to improper diagnosis. Since fish don't talk or
complain, most diagnosis are based on external observations and their behaviours. Very few
hobbyists will send their fish for pathological tests before giving them any medical treatment.
In the aquarium trade there are many drugs and chemicals used in the treatment of aquarium fish
diseases. Unfortunately most of the scientifically proven treatments are based on work with food
fish. There is much information that purports the efficacy of many drugs and chemical
formulations for treating aquarium fish diseases, but most lack reliable scientific data supporting
their use. Most of over-thecounter products are based on the so-called established formulations
by the few aquarium fish experts.
Some products are poorly formulated with poor quality pharmaceuticals. Instead of helping the
aquarium enthusiasts to treat their sick fish, they destroy the fish. This will indirectly discourage
the fish hobbyists (especially the new enthusiasts) from pursuing their new interest. The
aquarium trade may also lose a large number of potential customers.
Most of the defects in the formulation of aquarium pharmaceuticals by some over-the- counter
aquarium remedies manufacturers arise from the use of substandard raw materials maybe
intentionally to reduce cost. For example: a kilogram of Methylene blue technical grade (used in
the tanning and paint manufacturing industries) cost only S$16.00 while one kilogram of
Methylene blue B.P.C.(British Pharmaceutical Codex) for medicinal purposes cost about
S$100.00! Another chemical is the Formalin. The commercial grade is cheaper by almost 30% as
compared to the pharmaceutical grade
I have seen Methylene blue Technical Grade packed in 1 kg. plastic containers. The content was
plainly labeled as Methylene Blue without stating the qualities or standards with an address of a
German Chemical Company as manufacturer. It was being sold at a value meant for medicinal
If the use of aquarium pharmaceutical, or over-the-counter remedies is required, be sure to
purchase them from reliable sources. Always insist on U.S.P. or B.P. or B.P.C. or their Veterinary
grades and qualities. State clearly the type you required - water soluble or insoluble. Dont waste
money on the wrong grade of drug.

Unfortunately, some aquarium shops will recommend items which will bring in the most profits for
them. The best quality products are not recommended because they usually have a much lower
profit margin.
The following drugs and chemicals are commonly used in the aquarium fish culture. For general
information, their dosage, qualities and standards are given as a guide. Dosages as far as
possible are given within a range, since accurate dosage depends on water and environmental
For in-water treatment, water quality can greatly affect efficacy and ichthyotoxicity. Related
pathogens can also vary in susceptibility.
If you are not sure of the dosage, always start with the lower dosage. If the disease does not
respond adequately, repeat the treatment with a higher dose. Always look out for adverse
reactions. For oral medication, dosage varies with feed intake. Make a higher concentration of
drug in the feed if the fish eats less. If the fish is unable to eat use a soluble drug for in-water
PANFLAVINE. A group of quinoline antimicrobial dyes structurally related to acridine.
Hydrochloride salts are normally used because it is more stable in aqueous form. Bacteriostatic
against many Gram-positive bacteria but less effective against Gram-negative bacteria. Not
effective against spores. Use for early stages of fungal, bacterial infections and infestations of
the diseases. Very effective for external wounds and cuts. Use 0.01% as preventive and 0.03% for
MALACHITE GREEN is a diarymethane dye, which is the most effective agent for treating water
mold infections of fish and eggs. Also effective against protozoan ectoparasites. Toxic to some
fishes such as fries or baby fish, tetras, catfish, and loaches. Be careful and watch out for
adverse reactions when treating fish without scales. There are many grades of Malachite green in
the market. Make sure you use only the Zinc Free oxalate grade. Use 0.1 mg per litre for
prolonged immersion and 100 mg per litre as swab to skin lesions.
METHYLENE BLUE An effective agent for treating and preventing bacterial and fungal infections
of freshwater fish eggs and for treating ectoparasites of fresh water fish. Use 2 mg. per litre of
water and repeat on alternate days for up to 3 times. Use the pharmaceutical or B.P.C. grade.
METRONIDAZOLE (Flagyl) An effective treatment for hexamitosis, spironuleosis and some
bacterial infections since the 1970s. I normally use the injections (200 mg/ 25 ml. In vial form.) for
prolonged immersion at the dose of 20 mg. per litre (i.e. 1 vial for use in 10 litres of water). Add 1
vial every day for three day before stopping treatment. It is more efficient to use as feed if the fish
will consume food. For feed use 100 mg. per kilo of body weight.
FORMALIN An aqueous solution of 37% to 40% formaldehyde gases. Formalin is volatile and
irritating with a very pungent odour. The commercial grade has darker colour and sometimes with
brownish precipitates. The better B.P. grade is more stable and the liquid is practically
colourless. As a prolonged immersion in aquarium use, 0.015 ml to 0.025 ml per litre every other
day, for three days. For one-hour bath, use 0.125 ml to 0.250 ml per litre.


These wide range of pharmaceuticals are mainly used for the treatment of bacteria diseases of
aquarium fish. This group of drugs, also known as antibacterial agents, is highly abused in their
uses, both therapeutically and prophylactically, by the aquarium industries. All antibiotics when
used therapeutically must be for at least 3 days even if the diseases seem to have disappeared or
cured. The prophylactic use of antibiotics should be discouraged as it is the main cause of a high
prevalence of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria in aquarium fish. It is not wise to start your
fish on antibiotic therapy without knowing the causative agent (i.e. the type of bacteria ).
However, because it is difficult to pin point the causes of most bacterial diseases in aquarium fish
without elaborate laboratory tests, most aquarists will just use any type of antibiotic available.
Fish treated with antibiotics should be monitored closely to ensure that the treatment is effective
and complete.
Dosage of antibiotics depends largely on severity of diseases and tolerance of the particular
species. There is no fixed dosage and generally one capsule or tablet meant for human may be
used in 1 litre to 5 litres depending on type of fish and severity of their problems Generally, if the
antibiotics are insoluble in water it is better to use in-feed method of administration while the
soluble type are more appropriate for in-water treatment.
AMOXYCILLIN and its salt Trihydrate are insoluble in water. Use 50 to 80 mg. per kilo of body
weight as feed for 10 days. Amoxycillin sodium are the soluble salt and more suitable for in water
treatment. Use 250 mg. to 1 to 5 litres of water.
AMPICILLIN and its salt Trihydrate are insoluble in water, use as feed. Use the soluble Sodium
salt for in-water treatment. Both dosage are the same as Amoxycillin.
CHLORAMPHENICAL is the drug of choice for abdominal dropsy and gold fish ulcer diseases
caused by Aeromonas Salmonicida. Very unstable in liquid form but the Chloramphenical Sodium
Succinate at the dosage of 40 mg. per litre are poorly absorbed but stable in water for slightly
more than 20 hours. More suitable for use as injection at the dosage level of 20 to 50 mg. per kilo
of body weight once weekly for two weeks. For Feed use 500 mg. per 100 gram of feed and feed
twice daily for 3 days.


tetracycline groups of drugs Use their water soluble Hydrochloride salts for in-water treatment
and make sure that your aquarium water is slightly acidic for best results. It is better to use the
pure powder than from the capsules which are meant for human use.
Most capsules contain lactose, starch or even sugar as inert ingredients but these are not
suitable for aquarium use. If water changes to brownish or reddish colour, replace at least 25 %;
or better still change to a new tank to avoid adverse reactions.
Dosage for prolonged immersions: 20 to 100 mg. per litre of water for at least 3 days. As feed,
the Oxytetracycline (Terramycin) are preferred at the dosage of 50 to 80 mg. per kilo of body
weight for 10 days.
ERYTHROMYCIN and its groups are mostly insoluble in water and as oral feed they have very
bitter taste. They are not suitable to use for prolonged immersion. The Erythromycin Phosphate
or Thiocyanate has been used as feed for food fish at the dose of 100 mg. per kilo of body weight
for 10 days.
NEOMYCIN SULPHATE an aminoglycoside antibiotic used for topical administration to damaged
skin, open wounds and also infected cavities. Dosage for prolonged immersion is 50 mg. per litre

of water every 3 days for 9 days. Cross-sensitivity with other aminoglycoside may occur.

belong to the NITROFURAN groups.
These Nitrofurans are an effective group of synthetic antimicrobials. Some are stable in both
fresh and salt water and are rapidly absorbed by fish. They are effective against many of the
common pathogens that affect fish. A single bath treatment is often effective against susceptible
organisms. Suitable for use as feed and as prolonged bath.
Unfortunately, Nitrofurans are carcinogenic, genotoxic, and mutagenic and are strictly illegal for
use in many countries, including United States and Japan. But the Japanese are exporting the
products packed in beautiful 5 gram silver-foiled packings to other Asian Counties like Singapore,
Thailand and Malaysia. The most unfortunate thing is that some aquarium shops introduce these
products as a cure for all fish problems with total disregard for the safety of the people using

OXOLINIC ACID A popular quinolone, a class of synthetic antimicrobials that are effective
against many gram-negative bacterial pathogens of fish. They are well absorbed orally and can
be bacteriostatic or bactericidal. Oral formulations: 10 mg. per kilo of body weight for 10 days.
For prolonged immersion use 1 mg. per litre for 24 hours.
FLUMEQUINE structurally related to Oxolinic Acid and Nalidixic acid and are used for the same
purposes. Dosage: As feed, use 10 mg. to 1 kilo of body weight for 10 days. For immersion use 5
to 10 mg. per litre. Maintain pH between 6.5 to 7.5. Use higher dosage for marine water.
NALIDIXIC ACID another quinolones more suitable to use as a bath at the dosage of 10 to 15
mg. per litre for 1 to 4 hours.
SARAFLOXACIN claimed to be the latest addition to the fluoroquinolone family. Has broadspectrum potency against many fish pathogens and are being investigated by several commercial
fish hatcheries.
SULFAMETHOXAZOL TRIMETHROPIM (Bactrium) The most popular Sulpha drug used in the
aquarium trade. Used mainly as feed at the rate of 10 mg. per kilo of body weight for 10 days.
Most drugs in this class are toxic to fish while some are virtually useless because of widespread
These are series of non-pathogenic, dorman or sporulated (not freeze dried) bacteria specially
designed to overcome a variety of aquaria waste problems. A specially designed synergistic
combination of bacteria such as Bacillus Subtilis, B. Licheniformis, B. Polymyxa, Pseudomonas
Aeruginosa, P. Putida, P. Fluorescens, and Escherichia Hermannii are used to degrade organic
matter. The other two species of popular nitrifying bacteria (Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter) are used

for ammonia removal. They are effective only if used correctly. Their shelf-life is about 6 months
if properly stored.
Back to Page 1

The above formulations and aquarium pharmaceuticals are short listed from a pool of thousands
of items available to the hobbyist, professional aquaculturists and even more for the Doctors who
are also fish hobbyists.
Most medications are available over-thecounter in aquarium stores and aquaculture supply
firms, including antibiotics that are usually only available by prescription for ethical veterinary
use. Always look for expiry date before purchase.
The availability of these products varies from country to country. In Singapore, most drugs,
whether for humans or for veterinary purposes, are controlled by the Poisons Acts.
Please remember that there are no short-cuts to good fish-keeping by using drugs and
pharmaceuticals. It is very nave to think that using the latest and most expensive antibiotics or
drugs will keep your fish healthy and happy. The same goes for algae in the aquarium. If you
don't control the source of the problem (amount of light entering the aquarium) but prefer to use
algaecide instead, then, you must source for the unobtainable type of algaecide that is non-toxic
to fish for long-term immersions.

The above articles are mainly base on my personal experiences gathered from my 35 years of
working with the aquarium fish, they are exclusively for the readers information only. All the
treatment methods, procedures and dosages are frequently used for treating fish in my own
aquariums. Most dosages and treatments used are based on practical experience and from
information gathered from medical journals, aquarium books and even the extra pharmacopoeia
All information are given in good faith and from personal experience.
The correct usage of drugs and their recommended treatment methods when adopted or used by
the readers are beyond our direct control. It has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that
different species of fish react differently to the same drug even under the same environmental
Users are expected to check their compatibility under prevailing conditions in the aquarium
Hong Tai Aquarium Products Private Limited and myself cannot be held responsible or to accept
liabilities in the use of pharmaceuticals and their suggested treatment procedures.
We welcome any constructive suggestion to improve this website.
Phillips Tan
25th November 1997

Fish aquarium in House - Benefits

Fish aquarium in house is the best remedy to derive financial benefits

According to Vastu, fish aquarium also drives away all the evil effects from your house and enhances
good luck

An aquarium should consist of 9 fishes. The dragon fish or the gold fishes are the most effective
according to vastu for fish aquarium. The aquarium should have 8 dragon fishes or gold fishes and 1 should be

Even if the fish dies, you need not worry because the bad elements are going out of your house. Replace
it with another fish.

Fish aquarium in house is the best way to attract the energy of wealth

Looking at an aquarium is also the best way to relax your mind

No Aquarium in Bedroom and Kitchen

An aquarium should not be kept anywhere in the house except in the drawing room and the best direction is East or
North. This brings unwanted negative energies to these two areas. It gives you disturbance and an unsettled mind if
you place it in bedroom. Whereas keeping it in kitchen can cause you food poisoning or indigestion of food. So its
better to avoid keeping aquarium in bedroom or kitchen.
Directional Principles for Fish Aquarium the fish aquariums should be placed in the following directions:

Place your aquarium in the Southeast corner of the living room

The second best direction to place your aquarium in the north direction

Adequate Fish Tanks for your House

The sizes of aquarium can differ according to your needs and to the size of your room. The bigger the aquarium, the
better it is for the fish within it. When the water volume is larger, it dilutes the dirt better.

The aquarium is available both in glass and acrylic.

Acrylic is more stylish and less inclined to break. It is priced higher than the normal glass fish tanks.
Their price range starts from Rs.1200. But it gets scratched easily. Though it can be repaired, it has to be
maintained regularly. They come in different molded shapes.

The Glass Aquariums are very economical compared to acrylic. A medium size aquarium starts from
Rs.300. It doesnt get scratches so easily. But when you move it from one place to another, there are high risks
of the fish tank getting broken.

You can buy different kinds of fish tanks from any local aquarium and aquarium supplies.

Keep the aquarium fresh and decorate it beautiful. This will generate positive energy and thoughts! Your aquarium
will work effectively as a potent wealth cure if the water is clean and oxygenated. Fishes should be vibrant and
healthy; the plants in vibrant green and the lighting can also be additional elements of beauty in your aquarium.


Fish aquarium is a good remedial measure for any Vastu defect. In a house, every object and direction
has Vastu significance. Placing them or constructing them according to the Vastu principles will make
your life a serene one.Vastu Shastra, the ancient Vedic Science is a practical and result oriented
concept, which is practiced to have a prosperous and harmonious life. It is believed that many of the
problems in an individuals life are due to the lack of proper Vastu. Various Vastu defects can be
resolved effectively with faster results by following the basic tenets of this architectural science. A
fishaquarium has the potential of having many positive benefits. However, you must properly place
and care for the aquarium in order to attract the positive flow of energy. With the correct placement,
set up and care, the aquarium is a perfect combination of harmony and balance. The water symbolizes
the flow of life, of growth and the activities of living things. The motion and sounds of the bubbling
water as it moves throughout the fish tank activates and increases the positive energy of the area
bringing good fortune, wealth and abundance. A confirmed method for soothing stress is to stare
serenely into an aquarium. The calming sound and the peaceful motion of its inhabitants have proven
to lower blood pressure and calm nerves. Studies have confirmed that watching aquarium fish soothes
children that suffer from hyperactivity besides many other health benefits. According to Vastu
scholars, having a fishaquarium in a dwelling is considered a good remedial measure for any Vastu
defect. Not just a home but also for an office, shop, school, factory and other residing places can have
an aquarium to eliminate the defective Vastu problems.
The adva ntag es of hav ing an Aquarium for defective Vastu:
A fish aquarium tends to free your home from all the evils and maintains a serene, fortuity
It is also believed that each time a fish dies naturally, so does your problem at home or office.
This is one of the best ways to attract the energy of wealth at home or office.
In addition, an aquarium tends to relax your mind and create a calm atmosphere.
Fishes are also associated to Hindu mythology, as one of Lord Vishnus reincarnation (avatar) was a
fish in the sea. Lord Vishnu was born on Earth in nine avatars and his first avatar was that of a fish
(Matsya Avatar). It is believed that the fishes have a high degree to consume negative energy
(because of Lord Vishnus avatar) and give a calming effect.
One of the principles of humanity is that every human being is subjected to feed and protect
animals. To sustain this principle, fishes are one of the best creatures to be nurtured/kept and taken
care of.
If you are witnessing problems in your home or office and predict that this is the result of a defective
Vastu, placing a fish aquarium is the best option. Doing this will also resolve your financial crisis.
Vastu specialists believe that feeding a fish can add up to your good deeds as a result you will be
free from evils at your home.
Attractive ornamental fishes, which are colorful, tend to attract everybodys attention. These fishes
are quite active almost the entire day and motivate the observer. In addition, if you observe these
fishes for a while, you tend be energetic and will be free from all the worries.
One of the major advantages of having an aquarium is to deviate the jinx of a visitor from the entire
home to the aquarium. The bad energies, which are created all over the house, can be transformed by
glancing at the colorful attractive fishes. This in turn produces positive energy.
As per Vastu Shastra, a fish tank stores a lot of water and can balance the weight in an accurate way.
In order to balance the weight, a fish tank can be kept in a veranda or a hall in the South-West corner
after consulting a Vastu specialist. It should be placed in a prominent place where every visitor can see
According to the Chinese Feng Shui method, the rapid movement of the fishes in a tank increases
the active energy in a home which is known as Chi. This also results in the increase in good health
and wealth.
This Vastu principle of having a fish aquarium at your place is applicable for all the religions.
One of the important factors of this principle is that the aquarium has to be placed in a perfect place
after consulting a Vastu specialist. If the fishes die regularly, you should immediately change the
How to organize the fish aquarium according to Vastu:
To imply this idea, you can prefer either a pond, fish bowl or an aquarium in the desired place.
Cultivation of live ornamental fishes is advised. The dragon fish and the gold fishes are generally

The number of fishes in an aquarium should be nine in which, eight can be either dragon fish or gold
fish and one could be a black fish.
You need not fret if a fish dies, immediately replace the fish with another one, as it is believed that
your problems tend to reduce with the death of every fish.
It is strictly advised that the fish feed should be planned and fed by only one person. The tank or
the bowl should be cleaned regularly. Necessary requisites like filters, aeration and water circulation
are required in order to maintain the tank.
Except for your living/drawing room, an aquarium cannot be placed in any other room. It can be
placed in North or East directions. Placing an aquarium in other rooms brings negative energies and
disturbs the peace of mind. Placing an aquarium in the kitchen or bedroom can cause food and sleep
related problems.
Opting for a large fish tank is advisable as it can dilute the dirt easily. Fish tanks are available in glass
and acrylic.
To make it more attractive you can add colorful lights and other accessories to it. It is assumed that
this article would help you to get rid of your ailments by placing an attractive aquarium at your home
or office and see the results by yourself. Ring in the Positive Energy around you with Fish Aquarium as
per Divine Vastu Principles.

See more at:

Home Is A Place Where You Would Like To Be Happy And Spend Quality
Time With Your Family. You Can Feel Positive Vibes Pass Through You
When You Are Happy With Your Family Members. But There Are Times
When You Feel Nothing Is Going Your Way And Lack Of Positive Energy
Around You. One Of The Best Ways To Get Rid Of This Problem Is To Have
A Fish Aquarium In Your House! Also, It Is One Of The Best Design Ideas
From An Interior Designers Point Of View.
Fish Aquarium In House - Benefits
Fish Aquarium In House Is The Best Remedy To Derive Financial Benefits
According To Vastu, Fish Aquarium Also Drives Away All The Evil Effects
From Your House And Enhances Good Luck
An Aquarium Should Consist Of 9 Fishes. The Dragon Fish Or The Gold
Fishes Are The Most Effective According To Vastu For Fish Aquarium. The
Aquarium Should Have 8 Dragon Fishes Or Gold Fishes And 1 Should Be
Even If The Fish Dies, You Need Not Worry Because The Bad Elements Are
Going Out Of Your House. Replace It With Another Fish.
Fish Aquarium In House Is The Best Way To Attract The Energy Of Wealth
Looking At An Aquarium Is Also The Best Way To Relax Your Mind.
An Aquarium Should Not Be Kept Anywhere In The House Except In The
Drawing Room And The Best Direction Is East Or North. This Brings
Unwanted Negative Energies To These Two Areas. It Gives You Disturbance
And An Unsettled Mind If You Place It In Bedroom. Whereas Keeping It In
Kitchen Can Cause You Food Poisoning Or Indigestion Of Food. So Its
Better To Avoid Keeping Aquarium In Bedroom Or Kitchen.