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FishDeals.com | Aquarium Fish Disease Identification, Diagnosis & Treatment
Fish Vitamin Deficiencies - Identification & Treatment

Major Sick Fish Diseases:

Much has been written on the topic of stress & disease, below is summary to help guide you throughout Vitamin Deficiencies prevention and identification. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to Ask An Expert.

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  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • Low fish weight
  • Lethargy

  • Symptoms of Stress & Disease
  • Vitamin Deficiencies General Description
    This can also cause abnormalities similar to TB and Genetic defects. Lack of Calcium and Vitamin C are the two main culprits, resulting in bent spine and abnormally small fish.
    Vitamin Deficiencies Treatments
    The only treatment is to practice good fish keeping care. Below is a slated plan for what every tank keeper should do.

    If you have a fish that you think might be a victim of Vitamin Deficiency, follow the below plan step by step:

    • 1. Weekly feed your fish a minimum of 3 different types of food. (Example: Oscar Cichlid gets tropical flakes and floating cichlid pellets daily, once a week frozen blood worms are given.
    • 2. Do Weekly 20% water changes accompanied with gravel washing.
    • 3. That's it that's all you need to do to promote good fish health.
    Vitamin Deficiencies Prevention
    Feeding your fish an improper diet is as common a mistake as overfeeding.

    Providing the correct diet is essential for fish growth and health. Dietary deficiencies will not only shorten the lifespan of fish and cause many diseases, but will also contribute to a deteriorating water quality by polluting the water.

    The diet of fish varies based on their individual nutritional needs. Some require meaty foods (carnivores), some plants (herbivores) and some a combination of both (omnivores).

    Protein is necessary for growth and for repair of cells and body tissue. Proteins must be supplied regularly to ensure good growth and health. It is the most expensive component in feed and may comprise anywhere from 25 percent to 55 percent of the diet, depending on the fish species and size. While it is an important source of energy, excessive protein will simply increase ammonia production. Fish and shrimp meals are common sources of protein in fish feeds.

    Lipids (fats and oils) are important to fish since they provide energy and allow the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins and other crucial nutrients. They are available from many sources, and extra fats can be stored in the body. Too much fat can affect the liverís ability to filter and cleanse the blood.

    Like fats, carbohydrates provide energy for body functions. However, only omnivores (meat and plant eaters) and herbivores (plant eaters) utilize carbohydrates well; carnivores (meat eaters) do not.

    Vitamin function and symptoms of deficiency.

    Fat Soluble Vitamins

    Vitamin A
    Functions: - normal vision, cell growth and resistance to infection
    Deficiencies: - poor growth, poor vision, abnormal bone formation and hemorrhaging at the base of the fins

    Vitamin D
    Functions: - calcium blood levels (?)
    Deficiencies: - unknown

    Vitamin E
    Functions: - antioxidant, may paly a role in muscle cell respiration
    Deficiencies: - anemia and poor growth

    Water Soluble Vitamins

    Thiamine (B1)
    Functions: - aids growth, digestion and fertility, nervous system
    Deficiencies: - poor appetite, muscle atrophy, convulsions, loss of equilibrium and poor growth

    Riboflavin (B2)
    Functions: - vision, protein metabolism and enzyme functioning
    Deficiencies: - photophobia, cloudy lens, dim vision, abnormal colouration of the iris, striated constrictions on the abdominal wall, dark pigmentation, poor appetite, anemia and poor growth

    Nicotinic Acid (niacin, B3)
    Functions: - plays an important role in lipid, protein and amino acid metabolism
    Deficiencies: - loss of appetite, poor growth, lesions in colon, erratic motion and weakness, edema of stomach and colon

    Pantothenic Acid (B5)
    Functions: - adrenal functioning, cholersterol production, normal physiology and metabolism
    Deficiencies: - poor growth, sluggishness, clubbed gills, loss of appetite, hemmorhagic skin and cellular atrophy

    Pyroxidine (B6)
    Functions: - plays a vital role in enzyme systems and protein metabolism
    Deficiencies: - nervous disorders, fits, loss of appetite, poor growth, rapid and gasping breathing, flexing of opercles and hyperirritability

    Cyanocobalamin (B12)
    Functions: - enzyme systems, cholesterol metabolism
    Deficiencies: - poor appetite, poor growth, anemia and dark pigmentation

    Ascorbic Acid (C)
    Functions: - enzyme systems, bone, tooth and cartilage formation and healing
    Deficiencies: - hemorrhagic shin, kidneys, liver, intestine and muscle tissue, eye lesions and scoliosis of the spine

    Biotin (H)
    Functions: - enzyme systems, purine and lipid synthesis, oxidation of lipids and carbohydrates
    Deficiencies: - loss of appetite, poor growth, anemia, skin lesions and muscle atrophy

    Functions: - good growth and food conversion
    Deficiencies: - poor growth, poor food conversion, hemorrhagic kidney and intestine

    Folic Acid (M)
    Functions: - blood cell formation, blood glucose regulation and fish metabolism
    Deficiencies: - poor growth, lethargy, dark skin, anemia and fragility of the caudal fin

    Functions: - cell membrane permeability
    Deficiencies: - poor growth, distended stomach, skin lesions and increased gastric emptying time

    p-Aminobenzoic Acid
    Functions: - unknown
    Deficiencies: - no abnormal indication in growth, appetite and mortality

    References & Sources: from Fruland and Miller 1980; Moyle and Cech 1982
    Fruland, R. and W. Miller 1980. Vitamins and the marine aquarium.FAMA 3(5): 36-75.
    Moyle, P.B. and J.J. Cech Jr. 1982. Fishes: An Introduction toIchthyology. Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey.

    Image Gallery of Vitamin Deficiencies
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    Vitamin Deficiencies Frequently Asked Questions

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    #ImageDisease TitleTop 3 Symptoms
    1. Ammonia Poisoning
  • Red streaking on the fins or body.
  • Purple or red gills.
  • Fins are torn & jagged.
  • 2. Anchor Worms
  • Tiny white-green or red worms in wounds.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Ulcers may appear.
  • 3. Black Spot
  • Small black speckles on body.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Small black smudges on fish.
  • 4. Cataracts
  • White or grey "foggy" eyes.
  • Eye looks like it has a slime coat.
  • Tendency to bump into things.
  • 5. Cotton Mouth
  • White "Cotton like" fungus on the mouth.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins.
  • 6. Curved Spine (Fish TB)
  • Curved or Crooked Spine.
  • Lesions on the body.
  • loss of scales.
  • 7. Dropsy
  • Huge, Fat, Bloated Belly.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Scales almost popping off.
  • 8. Fin Rot
  • Fins turn Jagged or whitish and die back.
  • Fins look like they were ripped off.
  • Fish is not eating.
  • 9. Hole in the Head
  • Hole in the head.
  • Small sore on head.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • 10. Ichthyophthirius
    (white spot or ick)
  • Small white "salt-like" pimples on fins & body.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • 11. Neon Tetra Disease
  • Restlessness.
  • Whitened areas deep into the fishes' flesh.
  • Spine may become curved.
  • 12. New Tank Syndrome
  • Sudden Death.
  • Cloudy Water.
  • Unexplained Death.
  • 13. Oodinium (velvet)
  • Fine grey-gold to whitish 'dust' on the body.
  • Very rapid gill movement.
  • Scratching or flashing.
  • 14. Parasites (External)
  • Large ugly sores on body.
  • Skin looks grey in patches.
  • Fish swim aimlessly.
  • 15. Planaria
    (white hairlike worms)
  • Small White Hairlike Worms.
  • Tiny, Wiggley Worms often found in the substrate.
  • 16. Pop Eye
  • One or both eyes protrude from the head in an unusual fashion.
  • 17. Skin / Gill Flukes
  • Fish gasps for air at the water's surface
  • Gills open and close rapidly
  • Gills are covered in mucus
  • 18. Swim Bladder Disease
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy
  • 19. Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • View Symptoms per Vitamin

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