Reading Time: 6 minutes


“What have you got there, Dennis? Or rather who have you there. ” The man held out his hands and Marian noticed to her surprise that the tin bowl of water contained a fairly large goldfish. “Strawberry Nose”. Is Strawberry Nose now getting his salt bath? Yes, sir. “The man did not smile. “, wrote Iris Murdoch in her novel The Unicorn ( 1963 ). Fish friends; With Bassleers help: you can love them!

Now it was no fun at Gaze Castle and so there were not many smiles, but maybe Dennis realized that Strawberry Nose would not like his bath.
A salt bath is a hardening agent against all kinds of parasites that can treat fish, like fleas on a second-hand mattress. Because Dennis darling was kept in the trout ponds and water management was not yet available, there were regular problems with parasites. Fortunately, Dennis knew how to intervene. Sometimes he even had the habit to let the fish swim around in the bath. To the Lady of the house, this was a horror. More about The Unicorn you find on: On the web


Right choice.
Due to the available technology, we have the opportunity to do well and handle our aquarium or garden animals responsibly. Ponds in gardens are no longer there for the fish harvest but to enjoy them. When it comes to fish, it’s about making the right choice and of course keeping to it. The type of pond or aquarium and the required technique is related to the amount of feed thrown into the water. Feeding in itself is linked to the species of fish that swim around in our biotope.
Unfortunately, it can also go wrong if you always fully comply with the right choice. Something goes wrong with the water quality. For example, you forgot to refresh the water change or clean the filter. There may also be problems after the introduction of new fish. These are just a few examples but there are many.
At that moment, the most important thing is that you have to check the water quality. Optimal water is always the starting point for keeping fish. Then you have to find out what is wrong with the swimmers. And that is not that simple. Where can you go? Some associations can offer support. The local aquarium or fish shop also hopefully has enough knowledge to sell you the right medicine jar. Unfortunately, knowledge of fish diseases is limited in most veterinarians. They have to know everything about all animal species and that is impossible.

Dr Gerald Bassleer was president of the Ornamental fish industry (OFI) from 2006 to 2016, an organization that works hard for worldwide healthy trade in fish. More about this organization you can find on on the web

Dr Gerald Bassleer (fish bio pathologist) has the solution for this. Bassleer has been working in the ornamental fish trade and industry for about forty years. This is especially within the field of fish health. He trains staff within the fish trade, provides for example training microscope research, is an adviser, speaker, and for example developer of Dr Bassleer Biofood, (specialized food for fish that have a hard time). In addition, he wrote fish books that are of assistance to every fishkeeper.

“The new illustrated guide to fish diseases”
In the first book, Bassleer gives in the chapter “How to use this book”, already a step-by-step plan.

When we discover disease in our aquarium we proceed as follows:
1: We take at least 5 to 10 minutes to observe all fish (healthy and sick). The best time to do this is during and after feeding. Thoroughly examine your aquarium, filter etc.
2: Consult the “Questionary and Causes” (chapter 2) to spot or prevent problems.
3: ‘Diagnostic photo list and behaviour’, which provides you with a means to define the problem. Your aquarium or pond retailer can help you with this.
4: A ‘Microscopic Examination (chapter 4) will in many cases be necessary to allow for an accurate diagnosis to be made. Here, the help of a fish doctor may prove indispensable.
5: At the same time, you can compare the sick fish species with their congeners in Chapter 5 ’The major fish species with their most common diseases’ to recognise the disease or problem with congeners and deal with it as quickly as possible.
6: If the fish has a specific disease or if you want to learn more about the disease and its treatment go to chapter 6. Koi and Goldfish chapter 5.
7: You should now be able to solve your problem; if you want to use specific medicines, you can look them up in chapter 7.

Look, this is what we need! No conflicting advice by different “experts” who all have their philosophy or opinion. Observe the fish, compare photos and make the diagnosis. If you are still not sure then you will at least know what you are talking about when looking for further help. You can then determine a lot more confidently whether the person you are counselling is the correct one. However, assume that when you use “The new illustrated guide to fish diseases” you find the solution to most problems.

“The practical guide to fish diseases”
This book is an excerpt of “The new illustrated guide to fish diseases”. The most practical chapters are included, supplemented with new photographs, diseases and diseases that plague ornamental shrimps. The latter is very important because you do not see that much in books.


“Diseases in marine aquarium fish”
Setting up a saltwater aquarium in your living room is a challenge. It is not necessarily more difficult, but the water quality has to be put in order and kept more accurate than that of a freshwater aquarium. If you accept the challenge, you treat yourself to a very versatile hobby. The viewing pleasure will be optimal.
There is not much published about the diseases in saltwater fish, and certainly not a useful, practical and well-illustrated book like this. In the introduction, Bassleer stresses the importance of water quality in this type of aquarium. In the first chapter, he clearly and expertly tells how good saltwater can be obtained. In the second chapter, the how and what of filtration is well substantiated. In the third, the problems and the first warnings are discussed. In the rest of the booklet, you will find the symptoms and the measures against them.
All this in the same clear, practical and informative way as in the other two books.

“You are catching fish. O, Dennis … “Marian felt the tears rising again. …. “Why are you catching the fish?” Dennis spoke quietly and his accent gave an almost mellow sound to his speech. “I thought I could take some old friends with me. Are you leaving? Yes! Murdoch writes at the end of the book.

Dennis finds his fish friends and especially “Strawberry Nose” extremely important. Sad? Yes, of course, farewell always hurts. But when you have made the right choice and stick to it, you always have old friends that you can take with you. Murdoch realized this already in 1963 and with the growth of the hobby, this realization has descended with many people.

I believe that all those people must have one of Gerald Bassleers books in their library or I-reader. Let me nuance it. Associations and libraries, aquariums and pond shops must have an example of “The new illustrated guide to fish diseases” that hobbyists can use. And when the hobbyist has “The practical guide to fish diseases” or “Diseases in marine aquarium fish”, as a source of information, then keeping fish for both humans and animals becomes much more pleasant I’m sure that “Strawberry Nose” would have been very happy with it when Dennis had access to one of the books.

You can find the books on his site

It is also possible to get help from Dr Gerald Bassleer. online help

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