When is fasting sick fish necessary?

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Many “internet fish helpers” recommend fasting sick fish, or decreasing their diet, and we have to ask…WHY?!?!?

If you were constantly swimming to survive, you’d be burning a lot more calories than sitting at your desk, reading this article. When you’re sick, you often want to lay around in bed because your body is working so hard to get you back to normal. All of your energy has been diverted to keeping you alive. A sick fish, who is still swimming, won’t appreciate the lack of food. When they stop swimming and get stuck on the bottom or top of their tank, the additional stress could make other maters WORSE.

Most of the reasoning behind dropping your fish’s calories is to prevent excess ammonia in your tank. This is a lazy excuse for not doing your water changes, not having enough filtration, having too many fish or not starting your tank properly. Don’t punish your fish for your laziness or lack of preparation.

Here are the rare instances fasting sick fish or a decreased diet is necessary:

When your fish is sick, please do the following:

  1. Test your water quality. This is the #1 cause of disease in fish.
  2. If your water is bad, FIX IT. If you don’t know how, ask a professional, NOT THE INTERNET.
  3. Check your fishes’ food. If it is moldy/off-color/smells bad (something other than “fishy”), TOSS IT. Any fish food older than 6 months needs to be replaced.
  4. If fixing the water chemistry and feeding a good diet has not improved the issue, CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN. Yes, fish veterinarians exist. If you go for the “free” help online, remember, you get what you pay for.

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5 thoughts on “When is fasting sick fish necessary?”

  1. Pingback: How to Be a Better Fish Parent - Aquatic Veterinary Services

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  4. Rescued betta. Used betta revive for 7 days. Color improved but after a week spits out all foods. Now ignores food even if garlic guard added to food. Even tried peas. Water 78 degrees, N and Ammonia 0. Clean water after every feeding. Using metafix now. Doesn’t look promising. What could be the issue? No other symptoms visible. Starting to become listless. Lethargic at surface.

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