Most marine aquarium hobbyists keep a close eye on their fish for certain tell-tale signs of ill health. And that’s a good thing, since quick intervention in the case of fish disease can often be the difference between life and death for the specimen(s). On the other hand, we do need to be cautious about overreacting to every suspicious visual or behavioral symptom because sometimes these warning signs may not be what they seem.
Remember, if misapplied, medications and therapeutic protocols for fish can do considerably more harm than good. It’s important to have a fairly high degree of confidence in your diagnosis before proceeding with treatment. That means you have to guard against misinterpreting normal behaviors or forgetting that more than one problem can cause similar symptoms.
To help illustrate this point, here’s a sampling of symptoms that may or may not spell trouble for your fish depending on the context:
Flashing If you’ve ever been through a major outbreak of Cryptocaryon irritans, no doubt the sight of a fish turning on its side and scraping its body on the rockwork causes your heart to skip a beat. And, indeed, flashing is a potentially worrisome symptom. However, this behavior doesn’t automatically signal the presence of a parasite or other problem MORE