Diagnosing and Treating Anemia in Fish

Diagnosing and treating anemia in fish seems easy for most people, but think twice and you'll see the real picture behind it.

Many people think fish are easy to take care of and that can be true, but fish can also get ill and it can be hard to diagnose and treat a fish. One condition that many people don't know fish can get is anemia.Anemia is typically seen in humans. It is a heart and blood vessel condition. It involves a decreased number of red blood cells. It can also be seen in fish.


If you notice your goldfish is acting different and appears to have very pale-colored gills, they may have anemia. This is the most common and noticeable symptom of anemia in fish. If you can't tell if your fish's gills are more pale than normal you can take them to a vet. It is important to take note of different traits in pets. It makes it easier to tell when something is wrong since pets can talk.


There a various possibilities to what could cause your fish to become anemic. They include folic acid deficiency, extended exposure to water with high levels of nitrites, parasitic infections as well as fungal, bacterial or viral infections.

Blood-sucking parasites such as leeches and anchor worms which feed on fish blood and tissue can leave fish with a low number of red blood cells, resulting in anemia.


The treatments for fish anemia depend on the cause. A folic acid deficiency can be fixed with an improved diet that include more folic acid. Extended exposure to high levels of nitrites can be fixed with new water regular testing of the water to ensure healthy nitrite levels for your fish. Anemia brought on by a parasitic infection can be treated by killing the parasites. There are different types of water treatments that kill parasites within a week. If the parasites were noticed early and immediately treated, fish should recover. If your fish has a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection, they will require medications. You may want to consult a vet or pet professional to make sure you get the right medication.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.