Like any other pet, your fish is also part of your family. Thus, when your pet fish is dying or sick, it also needs lots of TLC. There are some things you can do to save or comfort a dying fish to help them. This article will show you 5 simple things to do when you notice that your fish is sick or dying.
Signs of a sick or dying fish
First, let’s go through the signs you have to watch out for to know if your pet fish is dying or sick. Here are some of the noticeable changes:
- Loss of appetite
- Struggle to swim or swim sideways or upside down.
- Discoloration in the gills and white marks on the fins or body.
- Keeps swimming to the surface of the water to breathe.
- Bulging eyes
- Swollen stomach
- Mucus all over the body
When you notice these signs and changes, what should you do when your fish is dying? Here are 5 things you can do to save or comfort your fish.
1. Check the water temperature
If you notice that your fish is showing signs of dying, immediately transfer it to slightly warmer water. When a fish is sick or dying, it becomes weak and its body doesn’t produce much heat anymore. Transferring your dying fish to a slightly higher temperature will help give it comfort and ease the pain.
Remember that your aquarium’s water is one of the top reasons why a fish dies. When taking care of a pet fish, make sure you research the right specifications it needs. Check if your fish requires saltwater, freshwater, etc.
2. Keep it away from a stressful environment
When your fish is sick or weak, it’s best to keep it away from a stressful environment. Transfer it to a different container away from other fish. Part of being a responsible pet fish owner is also researching what causes stress for your fish. For instance, many fishes get stressed when there are too many other fish around. A pleco needs a lot of hiding spots in an aquarium to feel safe. Meanwhile, Betta often gets stressed with too many filter bubbles.
3. Don’t Force Feed
You don’t want to overfeed your fish when it’s sick or dying. When it’s weak, it no longer needs too much food, so there’s no need to constantly feed it. More often, sick fish only needs good water and a better aquarium environment to get better. When a fish is sick or dying, its stomach bloats, and eating will only make it more painful. Also, uneaten fish food leads to dirty water, making your fish uncomfortable. When you notice your fish feeling better, you can start feeding it again.
4. Give it quiet time
When your fish is ill, give it lots of quiet time. Keep it away from loud noises that cause water vibrations and disrupt their peace. Too much direct sunlight could also stress your fish. Transfer it to a peaceful location, away from too much light. You can also cover the container a bit to give it the comfort it needs.
5. Call a veterinarian
If you can take your dog to a vet when it’s ill, you can also easily call a vet for your pet fish. Vets are helpful in understanding the causes of your fish’s illness. Additionally, it can determine whether your fish can still take medications to survive or whether it requires comfort while it expires.
The key thing to remember when caring for a dying fish is to give it comfort. You can do this by putting it in a safe and quiet environment away from bright light. Make sure it has clean and warm water to ease its pain and discomfort.