Aquatic Emergencies

By PetMD Editorial on Jun. 27, 2008

Medical problems are not always the cause of aquarium or fishpond emergencies. Instead, they often deal with environmental issues.

Reasons for Emergency

These environmental issues may include:

  • Leaks
  • Spills
  • Electrical problems
  • Filter problems
  • Heater problems
  • Pump problems
  • Dirty aquatic environment
  • Toxins found in the water (i.e., chlorine, ammonia or nitrite)
  • Bird or animal attacks, when dealing with outdoor fishponds
  • Injury (trauma) to the fish

Managing Aquatic Emergency

  • Usually immediate action can resolve an aquatic emergency.
  • When dealing with electrical problems, make sure all electrical items are grounded. Also, install a circuit breaker along the power line.
  • Plan the aquarium or fishpond carefully to avoid spills and leaks. If they do occur, keep material readily available to stop any leaks.
  • Perform regular water tests to prevent any medical fish emergencies. This will make certain toxins do not enter your fish's environment, as old activated carbon and some water treatment chemicals can release toxins such as nitrites, chlorine and ammonia into the water.
  • Unfortunately, veterinary care for fishes is not as well developed or as readily available as it is for other animals. Therefore, locate an appropriate veterinarian prior to getting an aquarium or fishpond. This will allow you to take your fish there quickly during any medical emergency.

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