Is life in an aquarium carefree as it seems at first sight? What could upset the idyll of the underwater kingdom and make life full of problems in it? These situations include a picture when the fish itch.
They rub against the pebbles of the soil, try to lean against the hard parts of the aquarium, they are covered with a small-dotted white rash, including on the gills, behave stiffly and tensely.
The fact that fish itch is a consequence of a number of certain factors. As a rule, these are reasons that appear against the background of complete well-being and manifest themselves brightly and suddenly.
They can cause itching of one, several or all the fish in the aquarium. It all depends on their individual sensitivity to the action of risk factors, on their ability to resist a change that has occurred.
The chemical composition of water tends to vary depending on:
- water disinfection methods;
- the number of fish living in the aquarium and their size;
- the presence of living plants;
- composition of designer souvenirs;
- features of the regime care for the aquarium;
- qualities of fish feed used;
- availability and technical characteristics of related equipment.
When using tap water for pouring into an aquarium, it should be remembered that chlorine-containing substances are used to disinfect it. Their initial amount is spent on combating biological pollution, and residual chlorine is almost always determined. It can affect fish irritatingly, cause itching and the desire to itch.
To avoid this, tap water must be settled for at least 4-6 hours.
In the course of life, every living organism, including the aquatic way of life, releases nitrogenous compounds, which, with a lack of oxygen, can accumulate and drastically change the chemical composition of water. Fish species requiring crystal clear water are sensitive to this risk factor.
The way out is to regularly replace one third of the water with clean water.
Living plants, at first glance, designed to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, also suffer from chemical imbalances in the water. They begin to turn yellow, rot, and eventually shed their leaves and die.
Their rotting products are another irritating factor for sensitive fish. Their skin is a place of accumulation of harmful substances, and, therefore, a demonstrator of the trouble that has come.
The fish involuntarily tries to remove aggressive substances, for which it tries to subject itself to friction against the ground.
The second mechanism of development of the symptom of “rubbing fish” is based on allergic reactions to the used food, fertilizers for plants, medicines for their sanation. Modern technologies for their manufacture often involve the use of special preservatives, increasing their shelf life.
The fish may react inadequately to these components: the fins stick together, the white dots become a continuous rash, and the fish looks tortured and unhappy.
Getting new fish, planting plants from other aquariums, the introduction of new types of food in the diet – all this may be accompanied by the inadvertent drift of parasites into the water. It can be:
- gyrodactylus and others.
Parasites are not visible to the naked eye and almost never change the properties of water. However, settling on the surface of the body of fish, they cause severe irritation, interfere with the absorption of nutrients, interfere with maturation and disrupt the normal lifestyle.
In the process of movement, the fish tries to scratch on hard objects, it bends with its whole body and looks unnatural.
How to treat if the fish itch about everything that comes their way? To do this, pet shops can buy special drugs that have antiparasitic and antimicrobial effects.
Treat need to comply with the recommendations of the manufacturer and instructions for use.
A similar mechanism for the development of diseases of viral and bacterial etiology. Water contamination by such creatures can occur with hygienic defects in care and the use of untested plants, feed and living things.
Aquarists know that the appearance of the symptom of itching and the desire to scratch on the ground or a hard object may also appear in the fish as a result of changes in the physical parameters of the water in the aquarium:
- its temperature;
- alkaline index;
- amounts of phosphates, sulfates, nitrates and other compounds.
Why is this happening? Because with a sharp change in the usual living conditions, aquatic creatures experience stress similar to a strong emotional experience of a person. Their physiological features determine the existence of a direct relationship between strong feelings and the condition of the skin.
The difference of this symptom lies in its temporality. If the new characteristics of water do not contradict the normal conditions of life, the fish will gradually get used to them and stop scratching.
First of all, it is necessary to find out the reason for this behavior. Only with this in mind, you can choose the right option to cure them.
Among the general hygiene measures should be noted:
- regular change of at least two thirds of water (at least once a week);
- use to fill the aquarium water of guaranteed quality and purity;
- Admission to planting only healthy plants, washed under running water and disinfected with appropriate preparations;
- settling of fish only after quarantine and careful observation of appearance, appetite and behavior;
- use of high-quality industrial feed for feeding fish;
- the use of proven soil;
- equipping the aquarium corner with equipment with the capacity corresponding to the volume of water and the characteristics of living fish.
When choosing a different way for fish to treat itching, you should pay attention to such drugs as Kostapur (Sulfur), ContraIc (Tetra), SuperIcCue. The drug is used in the evening, with simultaneous replacement of a quarter or a third of water.
It is useful in parallel to siphon soil – it will wash out harmful cysts of possible parasites.
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