How do I know if a fish is old or sick?
In the past 2 months I have lost 3 fish (about 2-3 weeks between each one) - all of which I got from the pet store about 8-9 months ago.
Two different breeds (2 glofish and 1 Molly)
All over a period of weeks stopped being so aggressive at feeding time and all started mostly just hanging around at the bottom of the tank looking for left over food. With the glofish I could see that they were losing weight but otherwise looked ok.
All other fish in the tank are looking and behaving normally.
I think the fish just got old...but I want to make sure that there wasn't something I was supposed to do when I saw them start to be less aggressive with eating.
Could there be a disease in the tank I am not aware of? No unusual markings on the fish - all fins looking good.
How can I tell if they were sick or if they just were getting relatively old (don't know how old they were when I bought them)
What do you guys think?
It's possible you could have an internal parasite. Especially if they're eating well, but are still getting skinny and are hungry, and then dying off. Try feeding them twice a day and see if that helps. I've found feeding them once a day, they're usually absolutely ravenous by feeding time, and not all get what they need because everyone is starving.
As for knowing age: This is difficult. You never know how old fish are at shops, usually they have juveniles, fish that are 5-8 months old, but sometimes they do give away much older fish. Providers often give away their breeders once they've had them around for a couple years.
Sometimes they will be a bit slower and look a little gaunt, but they don't just drop weight like you're talking about, not usually.
I recently had a swordtail who passed of old age, he was a bit slower, but otherwise got around ok and ate well, who passed away. Just went to sleep in his little place between my plants, looked normal until I realized he wasn't moving to come for breakfast. Not all get this way though, some never really show much age, but just die like that for no apparent reason.
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