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Caring For Your Pet Fish

Preventative care saves money & improves comfort and health of your pet fish in Phoenix. 

Veterinary Health Care

Illness in fish is often due to water quality, infections, parasites, or environmental factors. Fish that are sick may have redness or changes in color of skin or fins, stop eating, or separate from other fish. Transport fish in a bucket or ice chest. Bring a water sample for lab testing.

Preventative Care

Nutritional Counseling

Diagnosis and Treatment:

  • Just like other pets, including physical exam, microscopic cytology (skin, fin, gill biopsy), blood testing, medications, x-rays, ultrasounds, anesthesia, surgery, endoscopy, tank/pond evaluation, fish medications (antibiotics, antiparasitics, pain management). 

  • Early Care is most successful

  • Fish euthanasia must be humane with an anesthetic overdose (Tricaine Methanesulfate, Sodium Pentobarbitol). 

Tank Care

  • Check each fish daily for normal activity

  • Water change monthly (less than 50%)

  • Treat new water properly based on source

  • Algae removal and prevention

  • Water testing weekly (every 2 weeks if stable)

Tank Setup

  • Filter for waste particles and chemicals (exterior canister best with an under-gravel too)

  • Oxygen-air pump or active surface water flow

  • Constant temperature

  • Hiding areas

  • Reduce algae growth with tank placement, temperature control, R/O water

Pond Care

  • Similar to tank care & setup

  • Use "drink-safe" lead-free hose

  • Seasonal strategies

Feeding

  • 1-3 times daily, only amount eaten within 1-2 minutes

  • Consider feeding timer for regular portion control

  • Avoid overfeeding

Fish Selection

  • Similar water requirements (pH, temperature)

  • Social group (community vs. aggressive) 

  • Don't overcrowd (1-3 gallons per inch of fish)

  • Saltwater fish need more space to prevent fighting

  • Group several of the same species (unless solitary)