Fish Disease And Treatment – Swordsman Fish

The ability to identify fish disease based on external signs is very important for every aquarist. It is very important to distinguish between the cause of the disease. This will help you choose the right course of treatment. All diseases of swordtails that are caused by fungi are treated with fungicidal preparations, and bacterial diseases with antiseptics.

Almost all diseases of swordsman can be cured with the help of salt baths. Fish tolerate such treatment well.

If you closely observe the pets, then the disease can be detected at an early stage. A sick individual should be deposited in a separate container in time, then there are chances to preserve the health and life of the rest of the fish.

Swordsman Fish

The Signs of Fish Disease:

  • The fish becomes lethargic, moves little, freezes in place or lies at the bottom ;
  • The movement of a sick individual becomes chaotic and disorderly, it begins to rush and rub against stones;
  • Bloating;
  • White spots or patches that look like cotton wool appear on the surface of the body.

In order to avoid infection of all pets, newly acquired swordsman are kept in quarantine for the first two weeks. If there are sick individuals among them, then the diseases should manifest themselves during this period.

Read Also: Goldfish Disease


Injuries can be caused by showdowns between males and fights between fish of different species.  Therefore, it is important that there are a sufficient number of females in the aquarium. The optimal ratio is three girls for one boy. In addition, fish can be injured by sharp edges of equipment, decorations, and soil.

In order to avoid infection and the appearance of white plaque on the surface of the wound, hydrogen peroxide (5-10 ml per 20 l) or iodinol is introduced into the water. You can also use streptocide.

Chlorine Poisoning

Swordsman are very active and consume more oxygen than many other fish species. They have to breathe frequently and allow more water to pass through their gills. As a result, very often these fish are poisoned by the chlorine contained in the water.

Signs of poisoning:

  • mucus on the gills;
  • changes in behavior (swordtails become jerky and lethargic);
  • gills become unnaturally yellow;
  • fish jump out of the aquarium.

Methods of prevention and treatment:

  • Before pouring water into the aquarium, let it stand for two days or use a water conditioner and stir the water well.
  • Purchase a chlorometer and check the amount of chlorine in the water, the norm is 0.03-0.05 milligrams per liter.
  • After the first signs of poisoning appear, transplant the swordtails into clean water.

Lack of Oxygen

Swordsman swim near the surface and gasp for air. If there is a lot of carbon dioxide in the aquarium, then the snails also begin to float to the surface. As a result, swordsman begin to suffocate, stop multiplying, and refuse to eat. In order to remedy the situation, aeration equipment is installed in the aquarium, the population of the aquarium is revised.

Ichthyophthiriosis (semolina)

The cause of the disease, as a rule, is the wrong conditions of detention, in particular, sudden changes, or low temperature. The sword-bearer scratches on stones, soil and all protruding objects. A rash resembling semolina appears on the body. If the fish begins to lower its fins, this is also one of the symptoms of the disease.

The cause of the disease is the  ciliate. It is often found in aquariums, but only those with low immunity get sick.  There is no effective treatment for this disease. The only way to improve the situation is to gradually raise the water temperature to +26 and protect the swordtails from stress. The body of the fish must cope with the disease on its own.


The cause of this disease is a very small parasitic creature, Chilodonella.

Signs of the disease:

  • reduced activity (the sick individual freezes in place and sways slightly);
  • the fish has a decreased appetite;
  • the fin, which is located on the back, descends, and if you look closely, then under it you can reveal a bloom of gray-blue color.

As a rule, swordsman suffer from chylodeneliasis more often than any other species. Even if different types of fish live in the aquarium, often parasites settle only on swordtails.

Chilodenellosis is eliminated with antiprotozoal drugs.  The success of treatment depends on the stage of the disease. The earlier treatment is started, the higher the chances of survival. All sick individuals should be quarantined.


This disease is dangerous not only for swordtails, but also for other inhabitants of the aquarium. A sick fish stops actively eating food, loses activity. If the disease progresses, then the swordsman is poorly oriented in space and loses the ability to swim normally. Sometimes abscesses, blackheads or ulcers appear on the body of the fish. The swordsman lies at the bottom and refuses to eat.

In the very early stages, the problem can be solved with copper sulfate, trypoflavin or monocycline. With advanced stages, the fish die.

Fin Rot

This bacterial infection is common in swordtails. It affects fry and immunocompromised adults. The external signs of the disease are clouding and destruction of the fin.  The disease is curable only if the damage has not spread to the body of the fish, otherwise rot will primarily affect the nervous system.

If you notice the first signs of the disease in time, then the treatment will be successful. It is enough to place all sick swordtails in a separate container and use a weak solution of methylene blue instead of water. The liquid should be pale turquoise in color.

Salt treatment has a good effect. Dissolve 1 tablespoon in 10 liters of water. This will not harm healthy swordtails, and the number of cases will decline.

If these measures do not help, then it is worth using chloramphenicol. Enough 1 crushed tablet for 20 liters of water.

After the signs of the disease have disappeared, the swordtails should be quarantined for at least 5 more days.


As a rule, dropsy occurs as a result of exposure to a viral or bacterial infection, poor nutrition, the presence of parasites, temperature changes, and a high content of nitrites or nitrates in the water. Swordsman become infected from contact with fellow tribesmen, soil or live food.

  • External signs of the disease:
  • apathy;
  • swordsman lie at the bottom;
  • breathe frequently;
  • swollen abdomen;
  • the scales are swollen and stick out in an unnatural way;
  • often hang in one place.

To rid the pet of excess liquid, Epsom salt is added to the water (1-2 tsp per 40 liters of water). The problem is also eliminated with the help of the following drugs: potassium permanganate, maracin, chloraheminicol, bicillin.

The infection is often dangerous to humans, therefore, protective gloves are worn when working with fish.

Rare Fish Diseases

Fungal Infection

She also “cotton disease” can manifest itself as a thin, cotton-like plaque. It occurs as a result of hypothermia.


Also called bacterial mouth rot, it also causes white plaque, but it forms around the mouth.

The fish has a swollen eye

The causes of the disease are trauma or bacterial infection. Also, the wrong conditions of detention can often lead to such a result. Often, as a result of non-observance of all conditions, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia accumulate in the water. To fix the problem, it is enough to test the water, and if the indicators exceed the norm (and usually they are), the liquid should be replaced and the nitrogen concentration should be monitored in the future.

Cure And Treatment

It is much easier to prevent a disease than to get rid of the consequences later. Preventive measures:

Salt Treatment

New fish should be placed in saline for 20 minutes before releasing new fish from the store into the community aquarium. To prepare the solution, dilute 10 grams of salt in 10 liters of water.  After this procedure, new fish are assigned to a separate aquarium for a non-temporary quarantine.

One teaspoon contains 7 grams of salt (without a slide).

Temporary Quarantine

All newly acquired fish are housed in a separate aquarium for one to two decades. If during this time the fish did not show signs of the disease, then they can be identified in the general aquarium.

Conditions of Detention

Each type of fish needs certain temperature conditions, water composition, timely fluid change, water purification by filtration and aeration. The optimum temperature for keeping swordsman is from +23 ° C to +25 ° C. Maintaining proper conditions is the best prevention.

High Quality Feed

Before purchasing, it is worth asking the seller for a quality certificate for the product. If in doubt, you should refuse to purchase.

Features of Using Live Feed

If live larvae are used as food, then they can also be a source of infection or contain larvae of parasites.  To keep your pets safe, you should put bloodworms and tubule makers in the freezer for several days. During this time, the eggs of the parasites, if they do not die, then they will noticeably weaken, and will not pose a great danger. Also, live food can be disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate or methylene blue.

Diet Variety

Dried gammarus and daphnia are not enough for fish throughout their life. If it is not possible to give live bloodworms or tubifex, then boiled yolk or finely grated beef heart will do.

Plant Preparation

All new plants are also treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

Successful breeding of swordsman requires proper temperature conditions, clean water with a high oxygen content, and a varied diet. These are active fish that defend their territory and females. The number of individuals should be controlled and conflicts between them should not be allowed.

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