This part assumes that you are familiar with and have already checked the water parameters of your tank. I also assumes that all values (pH, GH, KH, CO2 and O2 levels, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates) were found to be within the acceptable limits. This is the first thing to do before reading any further. An ammonia burn will kill your fish and there is nothing described in this chapter that could possibly save your fish; only a massive water change will. It also assumes that the fish keeper closely inspects his or her tanks every now and then and thus knows if a sudden death is to be attributed to a fatal wound or too much stress because of bullying - something very common in African cichlid tanks.
You are also supposed to have checked for any decaying fish in your tank, your filters are working, your CO2 injection system is not malfunctioning, your thermostats are working too, and all the alike. In my years of experience I have concluded that 5 times out of 10, checking these factors already solves (or at least identifies) the problem. If symptoms occur suddenly and affect most of the fish belonging to various species, then most likely, you have a water quality problem. Please, if in doubt, see the relevant chapter, which refers to symptoms not necessarily associated to diseases. Please come back to this section after eliminating this possibility. If the symptoms are limited to a very small number of fish with no sign of spreading to other fishes, then the action of choice is to isolate the fishes and observe them closely.
The typical sign of a disease outbreak is gradually occurring symptoms with an increasing number of fishes becoming affected. It could be limited to only one species or a restricted number of species. Some fishes or species may be unaffected. The doses indicated in this article are to be strictly followed (at least as it concerns their minimum values). For an in-depth analysis of the correct way to treat you fish along with a basic understanding of what you are fighting against, see the relevant article. The present article is considered by the author as part of the subject "fish medication" and is not meant to be read as a stand alone article. Please check the other articles, which are linked to this one. Some drawings are given below, showing the characteristic regions and symptoms of the most common diseases. This guide is to be used as a quick reference guide. We strongly recommend that you read the article which follows in the next pages.
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