THE ORIGIN OF DISEASES
The origin of a disease can be outside the aquarium
- the introduction of a fish stressed by importation, or by the living conditions
at a retail store; it can fall sick and contaminate other fish;
- the introduction of a healthy carrier or diseased fish;
- the introduction of polluted water from a natural source;
- the accidental introduction of various harmful substances, such as cigarette
smoke and aerosol fumes.
Obviously, every precaution must be taken to avoid such accidents on the part
of the aquarist.
The origin of a disease can be inside the aquarium
This is generally due to a disruption of the general balance, leading to the
development of the diseases latent in a healthy carrier:
- reduction in temperature or thermal shocks, i.e. abrupt variations - whether
increases or decreases - brought about by a disorder in the heating system;
- reduction in the oxygen levels;
- excess of nitrogenous matter, due to a filter malfunction or too many fish;
- the general quality of the water;
- an injury sustained in the course of a fight or an overexcited mating ritual,
or from collisions with or scrapes against the decor;
- underfeeding or a poorly balanced diet.
Scatophagus argus, in a poor condition, with damaged fins.
The Hospital Aquarium
A small tank of glued glass is used, containing only the equipment necessary
for treatment. Therefore, there are no plants, bed, or decor, except in the case
of naturally shy fish, which can be furnished with a shelter made of an artificial
material like PVC. Normal filtration is not required; the most that is needed is
a small internal filter containing only Perlon cotton. On the other hand, there
must be substantial aeration, as this influences the oxygen levels. The temperature
should be raised to 27-28°C.
Ideally, the hospital aquarium should be in a quiet spot with little light, in
order to enhance the healing process. It is also possible to cover the glass sides.
After it has been used, both the aquarium and its contents must be disinfected,
using 4 ml of bleach for every 100 liters of water, followed by stirring of the
water over a period of 24 hours and then several successive rinses.