As the name suggests, fin rot is a common disease that infects aquarium fish, causing the fins or tail to rot and disintegrate. As the disease advances the fins will get noticeably shorter, becoming red and enflamed along with bloody patches or streaks. The disintegration of the fin may continue until it reaches the base of the fin. If it does reach the fin base, the fish will not be able to regenerate the lost tissue and will die.

Cause: Tail and fin root is a fish disease caused by bacteria. Normally this disease will not infect healthy tropical fish. Poor health and poor aquarium water conditions may be a contributing factor of the occurrence or fin rot. But it can for instance be caused by injuries or other fish nipping the fins, weakening the fish and allowing them to be susceptible to a fin rot infection.

Although the fin rot disease is caused by bacteria, it is important to determine the true cause, such as poor water conditions, fish suffering some kind of stress or fighting, and rectify that problem to avoid reoccurrence of this disease.

Preventing Fin Rot can be done in the following ways:

• Keep stress low.
• Maintain good water quality.
• Make sure all fish are compatible.
• Don’t overcrowd the aquarium.
• Provide proper nutrition.

Treatment: Commercially available anti-bacterial medicines should be used to treat the fish.

When fin rot is detected check that your water conditions are in order. A 50% water change should be made and the rest of the fish should be checked for any signs of the disease. The affected fish should be removed and put into quarantine tank and treated separately. External treatment by antibiotics is usually enough to treat this disease but fin rot can be internally medicated as well. If the fish is still eating, you can try feeding an antibiotic fish food.


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