Start by narrowing down the cause by checking each variable. Look at the fish in detail to determine if it is a disease or pest. Check the fish to see if they have any characteristics that are not normal to their species, i.e., spots, white patches, lesions, bloody gills or fins etc. Next move to the environment. Test the water chemistry and temperature. Are any of the levels out of balance i.e. ammonia or nitrites? Next, is the correct food being used? Is it possible any contaminates are in the water? If only a few fish have symptoms, try pulling them out and putting them in a quarantine tank. This is a separate tank, not plumbed into the system, in order to keep the pest or disease from spreading. Treat the quarantined tank accordingly. Treatments may include salt or chemical additives which you also will not want in the main system. A bit of research will need to be done to determine what you are treating and how to treat. Local extension agencies and the fish and wildlife department are always a good resource.
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