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Freshwater, Marine, Sick Fish, Lighting, Baths

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Aquarium/Pond Answers is brought to you from Aquarium Keeping Guru Carl Strohmeyer

Carl Strohmeyer (now retired), has fish keeping experience going back to 1968, and professional fish keeping/research experience going back to 1978.
He has authored more free internet articles than any other person, expert or otherwise.
These articles are found here at Aquarium Answers" as well as in the fish/aquarium/pond keeping library at "AAP Aquarium Information". He has also authored in full or in part many articles found in blogs such as "Fish As Pets".

This "Home" page is designed as a directory of articles here at Aquarium Answers (we also provide the list of articles in the right navigation bar on every post/article that is set in chronological order)

Our newest articles are:

How to Treat Sick Fish

Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) in Fish

Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance

Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums










As I also note at Aquarium & Pond Information although some of these articles/posts are more basic in nature, many are more in depth and require a thorough reading to fully understand and picking out snips without reading the full article may yield incomplete information.

A little background; when I first started writing these articles for the internet (something many of my clients asked for years), I made them VERY basic.
My early feedback was rather harsh as many said it was "nothing special", then some who knew me better said that although they were still better than many in content due to less anecdotal information, they did not come close to the delivering the information they knew I could and that my constant research should be reflected.
Many experts in SEO told me similar as well. So now, although some of the articles are still more basic and not all that unique, most however will have well researched information you will not find elsewhere in one location and this information is only best understood when read in full.

I will make my point as to why I feel it is so important that these articles be read in full and not in snips which can result in anecdotal or poor information dissemination;

"In the 1980s I was mentored by an Endocrinologist (MD) whom was also an avid fish keeper (mostly marine). He helped me much understand the ins and outs of medications and one time gave me an in depth medical article that he though had useful information that could be applied to fish as well. Much of the information was not readily easy to understand for me, so I skipped over many sections and gleaned the points I wanted.
Later I was making some points to the Dr. and he stopped me and said I was incorrect and if I had read the article in full, to which I replied, 'no'. He then said that there is no way I could understand this article without reading it in full and applying ALL the information contained there in".

My point is, often it is easy and unfortunately ALL too common in this hobby to read just what we want, and many web sites (such as are good at satisfying this basically lazy desire (of which I too have been guilty of), however this often leads to poor understandings of the subject or worse.

Back To Top

Other Recommended Reference/Product Sites

The article below is a MUST READ for anyone interested in moving from basic aquarium keeping to more advanced aquarium keeping, including better improved Redox Balance:
Aquarium, Pond UV Sterilization and affect on water conditioners
Aquarium & Pond 'TRUE' UV Sterilizer Use

Freshwater Aquarium Care
Freshwater Aquarium Care

Aquarium Lighting
Aquarium Light Information

This is THE article for in-depth, researched, and regularly updated information on the subject of aquarium lighting; a MUST READ!



Fish as Pets with articles & commentary of Interest to the Aquarium Hobby
Including these MUST READ articles:
*PUR or RQE, YouTube Video Fail- Guide to lighting a planted tank
*Common Aquarium Keeping Myths
*EcoTech Radion Versus TMC Aqua Ray HO LED Aquarium Lights
*Reef Central; Aquarium UV Sterilizer Hall of Shame

Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish

Sick Fish, How to Treat, cartoon  

By Carl Strohmeyer-PAMR 40+ years experience

Updated 5-9-23

Gill, How to treat sick fish, 1 The purpose of this article is not to provide any specific treatment regimen for the readers fish, rather to provide an outline that will provide a better chance for success over the typical "my fish are sick and what medications & how much should I dump into my aquarium" question.
Obviously the starting place is aquarium disease prevention, but many readers will be too late to this aspect of fish husbandry, which is the point of this particular article.

A good professionally written article for prevention of aquarium disease is this one:
"Aquarium Disease Prevention; Proven Steps for a Healthy Aquarium"

Every single step in the above article should be followed to a T and I can guarantee that the incidence of disease will go down greatly.

Hopefully readers will acquaint themselves with this above referenced article which will in part form a basis for this article as I go forward.
As well this article is another good read before one goes forward with any fish treatment:
"Aquarium Medications; Part 1"

Gill, How to treat sick fish, 2 I cannot emphasize more that many if not most fish diseases, especially bacterial or fungal in nature (including secondary infections to parasitic infestations) have a background issue. Failure to eliminate this background issue(s) will often result in failure of treatment.
Often the "background issue" is more than half the problem, so a good part of the treatment plan is REMOVING this background issue!!
A good analogy I like to use as to why it is so important to eliminate these issues is this:
"Not correcting causes or background issues is akin to standing in a burning building asking for a treatment for burns, while not leaving the burning building"

Gill, How to treat sick fish, 3 Unfortunately in my dealing with questions of what one should treat for a given set of symptoms, I have found that for the majority of these questions, the person asking the question either only addresses underlying issues in part or not at all.
Often this is not because the person does not want to, but they simply do not have the means or the availability for whatever reason to do so.
I would also point out, and while this may seem a bit harsh, it is still the reality, and that is this is still not a valid excuse to continue to ask for alternative treatments or complain to persons such as myself that the treatment failed when proper procedures have not been completely followed.

I personally spend a copious amount of time writing articles, answering questions, or even paying staff to help for free, but please remember that one needs to obviously follow the medication course prescribed, but just as importantly if not more so, deal with ALL underlying causes to a given fish illness problem. So repeatedly going in circles when not following exactly advice given is in my opinion disrespectful to the person who is trying to help you with your fish illness issue.

When you are asking others for help, whether it be online or at your local fish store, make sure you ALWAYS provide background first; including ALL water parameters (mineral Cations too), filtration, maintenance, feeding, & fish kept. Past fish treatment history is important too.
I cannot tell readers how many times people have asked for my help and told me that their water parameters were OK/good, but when pressed to provide actual COMPLETE numbers or I went out personally and checked, the water parameters were anything but OK/good. Often the important KH & GH tests were missed too, partly due many well meaning aquarium keepers fooled into thinking that their "API Master Test Kit" was all they need (a symptom of shopping discounters or getting information from "cut & paste" internet articles, videos or forums).

As an analogy; your personal Doctor always has your history, takes your vital statistics, etc., so why should we expect those we are asking to help us with our sick fish to guess, especially when one considers we often are asking others to help us sight unseen and with far less tools at our disposal than a Doctor would have?

Here first are basic procedures to check off before treating any fish sickness issue:

Recommended Aquarium Parameters for healthy fish, disease treatment


Best Aquarium & Pond Medications
AAP Professional Aquarium & Pond Medications


Next, here are causes for failure of any fish illness treatment regimen:

Gill, How to treat sick fish, 4

Other Recommended Reference & Product Sites

Hydro Sponge Filter

AAP Hydro Sponge Filters

THE PREMIUM Aquarium Sponge Filter with as much as 5 TIMES the bio and mechanical capacity of commonly sold Chinese knock offs!!
Definitely worth the extra $1-3

UV Replacement Bulbs, LampsUV Replacement Lamps/Bulbs; Aquarium or Pond
For TRUE High Output, Hot Cathode, Low Pressure UVC Germicidal Bulbs, for aquarium or pond

PUR or RQE, YouTube Video Fail- Guide to lighting a planted tank

AquaRay Ultra Premium Aquarium LED Lights
Highest in PUR, The ONLY LED with an IP67 rating or higher for water proofing along with a full 5 year warranty to back them up!
Why purchase brands without this rating such as the Finnex, Current, or Fluval only to be essentially placing an electronic light emitting device over your humid aquarium with little or no guarantee? In the long term, you WILL PAT MORE!

TMC V2 RO Filter systems; the very best you can buy with TDS meter (far superior to 4 stage RO/DI systems sold via Bulk Reef Supply, Amazon, or eBay that use the inferior cellulose triacetate membrane made by Dow):
Reverse Osmosis Aquarium Water Filter, TDSReverse Osmosis Aquarium Water Filters; with TDS Meter

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In Chronological order of writing with the newest at the top

  1. How to Treat Sick Fish
  2. Whirling Disease in Fish
  3. Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance
  4. Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums
  5. Lighting Theory of a Planted Aquarium- RQE, PFY, PAS, & PUR
  6. Aquarium or Pond Bio Load
  7. Tuberculosis in Fish
  8. PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting
  9. Head Pressure in Aquarium and Pond Water Pumps
  10. Fin/Tail Rot For Betta & ALL Fish
  11. Angelfish Virus/Aids
  12. Activated Carbon
  13. Fish Baths/Dips as an aid to treatment
  14. Streptococcus gram positive bacterium in aquariums, Eye Infections
  15. Hydrogen Sulfide
    production in anaerobic De-Nitrification for Aquarium/Ponds
  16. Fish Shipping
  17. Aquarium Size, Fish Stunting
  18. Aquarium Algae,
    BBA & Brown Algae in particular
  19. Aquarium Salt (Sodium chloride) in Freshwater Aquariums
  20. Betta Habitat; Wild Bettas to Domestic Betta environment parameters
  21. HITH; Hole in the Head Disease
  22. Aquarium Protein Skimmers, Ozonizers
  23. Power Head/ Water Pump Review
  24. Molly Disease/ Mollies in an Aquarium
  25. Basic Fish Anatomy, Fin Identification
  26. Aquarium Moving/ Power Failures
  27. Octopus as Aquarium Pets
  28. Aquarium Nitrates
  29. Ichthyophonus protists, fungus in fish
  30. Aquarium and Pond Filter Media
    Types; Mechanical, Bio, Chemical
  31. Aquarium Water Conditioners (also Pond)
  32. Fish Parasites; Trematodes & Monogeneans; Annelids and Nematodes;
    Flukes, internal worms, Detritus Worms (often confused with Planaria), Micro Worms
  33. Aquarium Silicone Application;
    DIY Aquarium Repair & Glass thickness
  34. Pond Veggie Filters; DIY Bog Filter
  35. The difference between Plaster of Paris and Aquarium Products such a Wonder Shells:
    Identification, prevention & Treatment
  37. AQUARIUM TEST KITS; Use & Importance
  38. SEXING FISH; Basics
  39. Chocolate Chip, Knobby and Fromia Starfish
  40. Freshwater Velvet & Costia
  41. Usnic Acid as a Fish Remedy
  42. Aquarium Heaters; Types, information
  43. The Lateral Line in Fish, Lateral Line Disease
    or Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)
  44. Tap Water use in Aquarium; Chloramines, Chlorine
  45. Can Black Ghost Knife fish give an electric shock?
  46. Bio Wheel Review; Do Bio-Wheels really work?
  47. How do Fish Drink?
    Use of RO Water
  48. Cyclops, and Predatory Damselfly larvae
  49. Betta with Dropsy;
    Treatment and Prevention of DROPSY in all fish
  50. pH and KH problems in African Cichlid Aquarium
  51. Aquarium Gravel, which size?
  52. Blue green algae, Cyanobacteria in Ponds/Aquariums

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Recommended Related Information Sites & Products from our family of PROFESSIONAL aquarium and pond websites:

For help with your Aquarium Chemistry:
Aquarium Chemistry; In Depth Information

World Class Aquarium Information
For unique aquatic products (most professionally tested) and information;
*American Aquarium

Free Shipping AAP

*Sponge Filters that far outperform all other brands or DIY:
*Patented Lustar Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters

UV Replacement Bulbs/Lamps Directory:
*UV Bulbs directory

*A CLEAR POND; Care & Information

Fish Food Information:

Aquarium & Pond UV Sterilizer Use Articles
-Unique articles such as unique UV ideas as well as dispelling myths

Directions/ Instructions/Downloads; Aquarium Pond Products

Aqua UV versus TMC UV Sterilizer
VIDEO: Aqua Pond UV vs TMC AAP Pond UV Clarifier Sterilizer

A comparison of the two top large pond/aquarium-system UV Sterilizers and why the AAP/TMC comes out as the best when price and dwell time is considered

Best Aquarium & Pond Medications
VIDEO: AAP Professional Aquarium & Pond Medications


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