Fish Disease Diagnosis
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I have one fish that has 2 or 3 small bloody spots and I've seen a few scales on the bottom of the pond. Which means I have fish losing scales. What is wrong with them?

Also received: My fish are scratching themselves on the pond ornaments and the bottom of the pond. What's this all about?


The fish are flashing for some reason, or they are suffering from some sort of pathogenic attack. I have seen scales knocked out by Herons, cats, or kids with sticks. Fish will also knock out their own scales by "flashing".

Flashing can be caused by several things, including temperature changes, parasites, water quality changes, high pH or low pH, nitrogen accumulation, or bacterial infections.

The most common cause of flashing is a pH which is not to their liking, or a parasite problem. Among the parasites, the most common causes of flashing are Flukes and Trichodina.

Stabilizing the pH is a good idea to relieve flashing behaviors caused by pH changes or a low pH.

Killing off Trichodina can be accomplished with salt in many instances. Flukes can be controlled by several methods including SupaVerm and Fluke Tabs. Follow all instructions for dosing as most fluke remedies are toxic of overdosed or left in too long.



Fish disease problems? Need some help? The help pages take you through the basics of the 'fish health work-up' diagnosis method and basic fish disease treatment methods.

90% of all health problems and fish deaths are caused by poor fish keeping! The key pages are essential reading for all beginners and intermediates who are serious about disease prevention.

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Expanded Content by Dr. Erik Johnson, DrJohnson.com and Used with Permission; Frank Prince-Iles ©2009 All Rights Reserved