Choosing a healthy pet fish can be tricky. After all, fish don’t really cough or sneeze when they are feeling ill, like cats and dogs do. With so few human-like symptoms that you can look for, how do you know if the animal you are considering is healthy or not? Here are a few tips for choosing the healthiest fish possible.
One of the best things that you can do is to look for any signs of injury or damage to the fish. If the creature is discolored, has torn fins, has sores, or is swimming slowly or strangely, you might not want to choose any animal from that particular aquarium. Even if just one fish looks sick, you can be certain that the rest will come down with the same thing days or weeks after.
The same is true if the eyes of the fish look cloudy or discolored. Many illnesses can be spread from one animal in the aquarium to the others, and avoiding the tank altogether is the best choice.
You should also avoid buying fish any aquarium that has cloudy water, lots of green algae on the walls, or that has dead fish inside of it. These are all signs that the pet store is not keeping a close eye on its tanks, and any fish you buy will probably be sick or malnourished. If there are dead fish in the tank that have obviously been there for days or possibly weeks, avoid the whole store.
It is also strongly recommended that you avoid buying fish from any supermarket or multi-purpose store such as Walmart that also stocks fish. Fishkeeping is a specialized occupation that requires many years of experience, or at the very least a few weeks of training in basic feeding and tank maintainable. In most cases you can be fairly sure that the staff have not received any extra training in taking care of the fish, and have probably been feeding them the first type of food they can pull off the shelf. Fish from fairgrounds are also best avoided for similar reasons.
Ideally, you should take the time to monitor each tank until you find a creature that is active and that is swimming around and showing interest in things outside the tank. Choosing alert and active fish is typically the best way to ensure that you have chosen a healthy pet. As a pet owner, you want the healthiest creatures possible, and this means taking the time to choose both your pet store and the individual animal very carefully.