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Related FAQs: Tank Troubleshooting1, FAQs2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5, FAQs 6, FAQs 7, FAQs 8, FAQs 9, Treating Disease, Puffer Disease

Related Articles: The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health, Toxic Tank Conditions, Environmental Disease (incl. Lymphocystis), Nutritional Disease, Infectious Diseases, Parasitic Diseases, Wound Management (/aquarists), A Livestock Treatment System

/The Conscientious Aquarist Series:

Tank Troubleshooting: Livestock, Part 2 of 2

By Bob Fenner


Back to Part 1 of 2 of Tank Troubleshooting

The third and final category of factors includes three aspects of pathogenic presence. Yes/no; are they there and in what numbers of species, individuals on the hosts, and their state of infectiveness... 

Now, let's "turn the tables" and consider these three sets of factors that determine livestock health in the way of what you can do to prevent and control loss of health. 

It bears repeating that we should aim for accomplishing what we can in each of the three categories.... though if two are optimized, the equation of health/disease is generally tilted in favor of health. 

Though not always easily done, we strive to select for the best species and the best individuals of those species for our use. 

How to know what these species are... what they should look like? Books, the Net, hobbyist gatherings (clubs, conferences), a guru/fellow fish hobbyist with more experience with the species... and some techniques even though you know what you know, are seeing what you're seeing...

Don't buy poorly colored or overly colorful livestock... Know the natural and captive behavior to expect from the species, size, sex individuals you're observing. 

Example of Basses (family Serranidae) that typically hide when first placed in captivity, one that doesn't. Liopropoma and Variola spp.

There are numerous examples of the same or related species from different locales displaying widely varying survivability, behavior  and tolerance to wide and varying environmental conditions.

Ex.s Indo-Red Sea Pygoplites vs. western Pacific. Odonus niger triggers in the Red Sea versus elsewhere...

If the intended livestock doesn't eat, don't buy it... if it stops eating at home... is this to be expected? Some species do only eat occasionally (mainly larger, predaceous species like Sharks, some LPS...).

Very important... as cold-blooded animals have very "delayed" reactions to different types of environmental insults/challenges.

 Ex. of Holacanthus clarionensis years back... thermally doomed.

All legitimate dealers can and will identify the geographic origination of their stocks, how long they've had them on hand, what, if anything they have done to acclimate, condition them. 

When/where in doubt with "new" livestock, leave a deposit and come back in a few days...

Is this obvious?

Just as with your own health, you need to know what the common infectious and parasitic complaints the particular livestock you keep may suffer, and how to prevent, react to their presence. 

There is a scale of escalation in attending to these diseases... with chemical treatments ranking last.

Self explanatory: How would you know Health w/o an understanding of disease?

Don't count on anyone else to properly prepare your livestock for placement... Unless you are assured of the resoluteness of their operations, do observe, restrict and "harden" most all new livestock before mixing in with established main/display systems. 

Should be similarly outfitted as any live-holding system... with a cover, decor/hiding spaces, heater, possibly lighting (for photosynthetic species)... regularly monitored (at least daily) for chemical integrity... and not coppered for more than a two week interval...

Back to Part 1 of 2 of Tank Troubleshooting

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