Book Review: Fish Disease: Diagnosis And Treatment By E. Noga


This is a meticulously sourced, scientific textbook that covers all fish, not just ornamentals. It doesn't assume the reader knows how to take tissue samples or diagnose disease, and walks you through the entire process, including autopsy. with descriptions of where to cut and what organs should look like. Noga warns about drawing any conclusions from a cadaver, however, as decomposition in fish occurs very rapidly, and the smaller the fish the faster it happens. A few hours in water post mortem can foul the results, so he suggests putting the corpse on ice if need be.

From my favorite chapter "Key Features of Internal Organs"
The intestinal tract is usually the first organ seen when the peritoneal cavity is opened. However, body fat is most commonly deposited in the peritoneal cavity and may obscure the viscera. The intestinal tract is a straight, thin-walled tube. In many aquarium fish the lumen is too small to be easily cut open, but in such fish the intestinal contents can often be seen through the wall.
(Kindle Locations 2076-2080).

The book is organized from the point of view of a student or working veterinarian who would probably be servicing commercial accounts, fish farms or large ponds. The Table of Contents lists the possible health issues in order of prevalence as 'Problems 1 - 103'. I wouldn't have guessed the #1 Problem is Environmental Hypoxia since it's not that common in aquariums. If I suspected septicemia, for example, and wanted to quickly click on it to check symptoms I couldn't do it without knowing which # Problem it actually is or using the search, but that's a minor gripe.

Great resource for aspiring veterinarians or fish geeks, but the casual home aquarist, not so much. There are better choices, such as Baensch Aquarium Atlas, or my go-to favorite, Burgess, Bailey & Exell's A-Z of Tropical Fish Health. Written by highly regarded experts on ornamental fish, they can be found (used) on Amazon or AquaBid for a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, they won't teach you how to biopsy the kidney of a chinook salmon.

Sample TOC pages -



Interesting read.. Thanks for the review!


What does it say about the common problems we encounter such as the diseases Neon Tetras come with?

I believe most of the problems we are dealing with stem from an inability to provide good living conditions for our fish.

Better to spend time on the nitrogen cycle and providing other suitable environmental conditions. Then disease will be rarely encountered.

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