Ornamental fish health and welfare are often taken for granted or ignored, possibly because of poor training on the part of retailers and hobbyists as well as a lack of involvement by the veterinary community in providing education and awareness.

Overbreeding and selective breeding for desired physical characteristics (eg, long fins, bubble eyes, round bellies) have created unhealthy, disease-prone fish. Because of a lack of adequate husbandry, many fish live in undersized, unsuitable, or improperly prepared tanks. Hobbyists may fail to seek professional veterinary help because they feel such help is unavailable or unwarranted. Concern for the welfare of pet fish may not extend past their perceived economic value.

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