Aquarium Filtration

How do you choose the best filter for your fish tank? There are two main types of filters you can use on your aquarium - hang-on and canister. No matter what type you choose, remember the all important point - NEVER REPLACE YOUR FILTER MEDIA!! Hang-On Filters Our favorite filter - you can go figure [...]

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Freshwater Fish Lice – Tiny Alien Parasites

There are many parasitic crustaceans throughout the fish kingdom, the one most commonly seen in pet fish is Argulus ssp., also known as "Fish Lice." Under the microscope, they are one of the strangest looking parasites you will come across. Flickr/Chris Blanar These parasites are found in salt and freshwater all around the world. We [...]

How to Get Started in Aquatic Veterinary Medicine

Our office gets countless inquiries from students asking how they can get started in a career in aquatic veterinary medicine. And our #1 question asked by almost 100% of our clients... How did you [Dr. Sanders] get into this field? I was one of those obnoxious kids who knew I wanted to be a veterinarian [...]

Preventative Medicine in Fish

What is "preventative medicine?" Essentially, all it means is going to the doctor before you are sick in order to catch disease early. The earlier a disease can be caught, the easier it is to manage. This is why you get your yearly physical, routine bloodwork and colonoscopy. The same is true for your pets. [...]

How Do You Treat a Betta Fish?

Betta fish can be a particular tricky species for an aquatic veterinarian to assess. Their tiny size limits diagnostics and usually limited water volume limits our ability to test water quality parameters. So, how do we work on such tiny fish? Most of the exams for our betta patients are mainly visual. They are very [...]

Your Goldfish is NOT Constipated

Your Goldfish is NOT Constipated

What is "constipation?" It is the inability to pass fecal material usually due to dehydration or lack of fiber in the diet. Well, goldfish are physiologically built to never be constipated. Imagine, if you will, a goldfish swimming in their tank. Remember, goldfish are freshwater fish. Now, the next part might require you to pull [...]

Fish Metabolism & Temperature

Why do we have to wait on surgery and other treatments until the water warms up? Well, it's one of the unusual things about aquatic veterinary medicine: our patients cannot regulate their internal body temperature. Known as "ectotherms," or "cold-blooded," fish along with amphibians and invertebrates are unable to create and store internal metabolic heat. [...]

Trichodina in Freshwater Fish

Also known as the "scrubbing bubbles," trichodinosis is caused by freshwater parasites commonly found on koi and goldfish. Although there are many species, they all have a similar appearance and behavior. They are circular in shape and have multiple teeth that ratchet around, feeding on skin and mucus. Here you can watch them in action: [...]

Vacation Fish Care

It's a lot harder to take your fish with you on vacation compared to your dog or even cat. That means you'll have to plan for them to receive care while you're away. If you don't have a neighbor or friend to look after your fish, you may need to hire someone. I can already [...]

Freshwater Fish Flukes

Freshwater Fish Flukes

Given the common name of "flukes" by hobbyists, monogenean trematodes are one of the most common parasites we come across in freshwater fish. There are many species that can infect freshwater and marine species, but we mainly deal with the gyrodactylus and dactylogyrus. Mainly feeding on the external layers of skin and gill tissues, these [...]