I need help with:

Fish Problems


Appearing unwell but no physical symptoms

  • Clamped fins
  • Fish look ill
  • Gasping and lethargy
  • No obvious physical symptoms
  • Not eating
  • Seeming unhappy

Check your water quality by testing the water.

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More than one symptom

  • Fish are displaying multiple symptoms
  • gasping
  • Generally appear unwell
  • Holding fins close to body
  • Lacking colour / pale / darker
  • Layer of slime across body
  • Lethargic
  • Swimming closer to the surface

Fish could be suffering from any combination of infection or general sickness often caused by poor water quality which should be tested

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Unexplained Death

  • Fish keep dying
  • Sudden and unexplained death of single or multiple fish

Test your water quality and read on for more advice on preventing fish deaths

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Fungus and Bacteria

  • Cotton wool like growths
  • Fluffy grey / brown / white growths
  • Frayed tattered and blood streaked fins
  • Rotting around the mouth / fins

Fin and Mouth rot are caused by a bacterial infection. Fungus grows on broken and damaged skin

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  • Pale gills
  • protruding or bulging 'pop' eye
  • Red discolouration
  • Sores / ulcers
  • Swollen body, appearance of a pinecone

Internal bacterial infection caused by a variety of different bacteria which result in a mixture of the symptoms listed above

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Visible Parasites

  • Crustaceans or leeches clinging to fish
  • Lice, worms or flea like creatures attached to the skin or fins
  • Maggots in the gills

Parasites in your pond, act as soon as you can to ensure effective recovery

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White Spot

  • White spots on the skin roughly the size of a grain of sugar

White spot or Ich is a common condition caused by a microscopic parasite

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Buoyancy Issues

  • Can't maintain bouyancy
  • Leaning and swimming on it's side
  • Sinking / floating
  • Struggle to swim properly

Buoyancy issues which could be caused by anything from dietary or physical damage problems to an internal bacterial (swimbladder) infection

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Body Deformities

  • Fish pox
  • Raspberry / Cauliflower like growths
  • Swellings
  • Tumours
  • Waxy lumps on the body

These symptoms will usually be diagnosed as deformities and growths which can be caused by viral infections. However, these symptoms could also be used to diagnose tumours which can be caused by a variety of factors

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Pond Problems


Green Water

  • Can't see my fish through the water
  • Green fluorescing tint to the pond water
  • Green, cloudy water
  • Water like pea soup

Microscopic free swimming algae bloom suspended in the water

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Blanket Weed

  • Algae and stringy plant matter stuck to the side of pond
  • Areas of water flow blocked by plants
  • Cotton wool like algae covering the pond
  • Stringy algae smothering the water

Filamentous algae infestation

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Cloudy Water

  • Bits in my water
  • Can't see my fish in my pond
  • Floating dirt
  • Heavy silt and waste deposits
  • Milky / green or brown pond water

Suspended particles of waste, bacteria or algae in the water

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  • Dirty pond
  • Floating waste stirred up by fish
  • Heavy silt and waste build up in the pond
  • Mud like material across the pond and built up on the bottom
  • shelves or edges

Organic and inorganic waste material build up in the pond.

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Duck Weed

  • leafy algae smothering the pond water
  • Lethargic looking pond plants
  • Small green leaves growing over the pond's surface
  • smothered by duck weed
  • Stagnant smel
  • Thick green

Floating duckweed algae infestation.

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Plant Problems

  • Leaves turning yellow
  • Plants not flourishing
  • Pond plants dying
  • Poor lily growth

Plants are lacking the correct nutrients and are not growing to their full potential

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Water Pollution

  • Fish gasping / rapid gill movements
  • Oily film on surface
  • Unexplained deaths

Oils, garden chemicals building materials and other pollutants accidently washed in to pond

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Water Levels

  • fish are swimming closer to the surface
  • Reduced water level
  • Topping up very often
  • Water level has dropped

Water loss due to evaporation at high temperatures, air movement removing water or a leak in the pond liner.

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Self Contained Water Feature with Algae

  • Algae/blanket weed on the features
  • Feature water is green and full of suspended particles
  • Stringy plant matter reducing water flow

Algae bloom suspended in the water

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Dirty Self Contained Water Feature

  • Built up deposits in pools and on areas of water flow
  • Feature water is full of dirt
  • Green/brown slime and dirt built up on the feature
  • Lime scale
  • Stagnant smell

Build up of waste organic or mineral material in the water feature

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Water Quality Test Results


High Ammonia

  • Clamped fins
  • Fish are lethargic and look generally unwell or sick
  • Fish are not eating
  • Gasping at the surface
  • Red streaky gills
  • Sulking at bottom

I have tested my pond water for ammonia and the result is high. How do I reduce it?

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High Nitrate

I have tested my pond water for nitrate and the result is high. What do I do to reduce it?

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High Nitrite

  • Clamped fins
  • Fish have rapid gill movement
  • Gasping at the surface
  • Generally appear unwell

I have tested my pond water for nitrite and the result is high. How do I reduce it?

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High pH

  • Fish appear to be in discomfort
  • Fish's behaviour has changed dramatically after heavy rainfall
  • Flicking against ornaments or rocks
  • Increase in green algal growth
  • Jumping

I have tested my pond and the pH is high. How do I reduce it?

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Low pH

  • New fish die when introduced
  • Noticeable levels of ammonia and nitrite

I have tested my pond water and the pH is low. What do I do to solve this?

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Water hardness

  • Gasping at the surface
  • Rapid gill movement

I have tested my pond’s water hardness and the results show a problem. How do I improve this?

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