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What to Look for When Buying Freshwater Fish

Part of the Freshwater Aquariums For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Buying fish for your freshwater aquarium is opportunity for a fun trip to the pet store. As you choose fish to take home, look at the physical characteristics in the following list to determine whether a fish is in good health:

  • Body color is rich, not faded or dull. The color should be complete and not missing in any areas.

  • There are no open sores, visible ulcers, boils, or obvious skin problems such as peeling scales or blemishes.

  • Fins are long and flowing or short and erect. The fish should not have any ragged, torn, or missing fins.

  • Scales are flat and smooth, not protruding away from the body.

  • The stomach is well rounded, not sunken or concave.

  • Girth of the entire body is of normal size, not bloated or emaciated.

  • Visible excreta (fish waste) should be dark in color, not pale.

  • All the fins on the fish’s body should not be collapsed or completely clamped shut.

  • The eyes are clear, not cloudy, and they are not popping out of their sockets.

  • There are no visible parasites, such as ich or velvet.

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