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What the Pet owner

needs to know on how

to buy Healthy Fish

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Pets with a Gift

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Purchasing a Fish for a pet that is Healthy
William Berg

Well, of course there is no guarantee that the fish you see, you
are interested in (and you are going to buy) is totally healthy.
A Fish can appear as healthy as it could be but in fact it has
invisible inner problems. There are many ways, many things you
should seek out to determine if a fish is healthy.

And here's a list of some:

Firstly, look for physical characteristics of good health. A
healthy fish should have bright body color, not pale or dull.
However darker or patchy coloration may be an indicator of stress
and not of bad health. Before you buy a fish, find out how it
should look under normal conditions. No open sores, boils,
ulcers, peeling scales or blemishes. No visible parasites, such
as tiny white crystals that look like salt or tiny black nodules
that look like "blackheads". There are also viruses, like the
Lymphocystis (cauliflower-like growths on the edge of fins). Be
sure to examine the fish before buying it.

Eyes should be clear, not cloudy or popping out of the sockets.
Fins are erect, especially the top fin (dorsal). Buckled fins can
mean trouble. No ragged, torn or ripped fins. All of them should
be intact.

Scales are flat and smooth, stomach is well rounded, girth of the
entire body is of normal size, not bloated or sunken. Visible
fish waste should be dark in color, not pale.

You should also examine their behavior! Healthy fish should
breathe normally, not guzzling for air or hanging around the top
of the tank where its mouth kissing the top of the water. Compare
the gill movement of a fish with other fish in the tank.
Extremely rapid gill movement may be a sign of stress.

The fish should interact well with another fish, as they pass
each other, moving out, etc. Healthy fish should swim in a
horizontal motion (not with its head up or down with a few
exceptions) throughout the aquarium---not just creeping around
the corners or hiding all the time. Donít pick a fish that allows
itself to be bullied or likes to bully others! Spend some time
watching the fish you're interested in buying maybe a good
advice. Sometimes you'll see things you didn't notice right away.
Watch how it behaves for a while.

Only buy fish that eat well! If possible watch them being fed, as
this is very important. You wonít have a wonderfully beautiful
fish that only lasts a day, right?

It would be wise too to check fish prices. Unusually cheap price
should be questioned, as there are some dangerous yet awfully
cheap methods to caught fish today, like using cyanide and drugs.
Cheap prices donít have to mean poor quality.

And make sure that the fish be caught with two nets. Thatís the
best, since using one net will usually only result in a crazy
chase around the tank, making the fish extremely stressed.

William Berg has over 20 years of aquarium experience and has
written this article for  where you
can find information about all kinds of aquarium related issues.

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