What does a fish vet do?

Dr Richmond Loh (BSc, BVMS, MANZCVS, MPhil) is a fully qualified veterinarian surgeon, who graduated from the veterinary school at Murdoch University. He diagnoses fish diseases and provides fish medicine. The Fish Vet has a mobile veterinary clinic and makes home visits to see your fish in their aquarium, pond, tank or dam. So whether you are a fish keeper, fish hobbyist, fish farmer, aquaculturist, ornamental fish retailer, fish wholesaler, fish exporter or a public aquarium or zoo, The Fish Vet can see you. Some of Dr Loh’s patients include Siamese fighting fish, guppies, goldfish, koi carp, cichlid (such as oscars, discus, angel fish and Malawi cichlids), marine fishes (such as clown fish, seahorses, sharks, rays), or large fishes such as murray cod, giant gourami and saratoga (the Australian version of the arowana or otherwise known as dragon fish). So you can think of him as an aquarium doctor, pond doctor, koi doctor, aqua vet, fish vet, aquarium vet, doctor fish or fish doctor.

A routine home visit will involve water testing (including pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, carbonate hardness, general hardness, water temperature, etc.) and he will have special tools including a microscope to examine for the cause of your fish’s ailments and has access to laboratory testing (including bacteriology and histology testing). In his fish mobil, Dr Loh has a mobile fish pharmacy, and carries all the medicines/medications (e.g. metronidazole or Flagyl, antibiotics such as enrofloxacin or Baytril, praziquantel or fish wormer, fish anaesthetics) necessary for treating fish diseases. These fish medicines are on hand and can be dispensed immediately to treat your fish since time is of the essence. He has all the fish dose rates and can give in-water medication or injections. Otherwise, veterinary prescriptions can be written if the drug is not in stock for you to obtain it from your local chemist.

Common reasons why fish owners call The Fish Vet are because they have sick fish or had searched the internet about any of the following topics that may include viral infection, lymphocystis, gourami iridovirus, carp pox, herpesvirus, bacterial infection, bacterial ulcer, aeromonas, yersiniosis, Yersinia, vibrio, vibriosis, flavobacter, flexibacter, streptococcus iniae, mycobacteria, fish tb, fish tuberculosis, septicaemia, bacteraemia, fungal disease, saprolegnia, achlya, cotton wool disease, fish parasite, protozoal, white spot disease, ich, cryptocaryon, trichodina, chilodonella, costia, ichthyobodo, oodinium, amyloodinium, nematode, round worm, camallanus, flat worm, monogenetic trematode, digenean, flukes, dactylogyrus, gyrodactylus, lice, argulus, anchor worm, lernaea, zoonotic diseases, toxicity, bloat, swimbladder disease, swim bladder infection, pine cone appearance, dropsy, pop eye, popeye, exophthalmia, hikui, jumped out, goldfish laying on its side, hole in the head, head and lateral line erosion, HLLE, HITH, cotton wool disease, fin rot, redness, frayed fins, physical injury, buoyancy disorder, loss of appetite, ulcer disease, ulceration, lesions, haemorrhage, columnaris, wasting disease, velvet disease or not eating.

If you are not within driving distance, Dr Richmond Loh has published a book entitled “Fish Vetting Essentials”. Purchase this book and take your sick fish to the local veterinarian to make a correct diagnosis so that you can proceed with the appropriate treatment or management of the issue.


Fish Vetting Essentials

Fish Health Professionals – Land the Catch of the Year!

The target audience is the busy general veterinary practitioner who does not have the time to leaf through complicated text books.  The simplicity in which it is written has found favour with many readers and so it is widely used in educational institutes, laboratories, zoos, public aquaria, aquaculturists and fish enthusiasts worldwide.

This book is a comprehensive resource that incorporates elements of fish keeping, clinical medicine and fish pathology.

Fish Vetting Essentials (2011) has important information for diagnosticians:

  • how to interpret water quality
  • how to diagnose common fish diseases
  • how to medicate fish
  • how to treat fish diseases using drugs available in your surgery.

View sample pages here –  eFishVetEssentialswLinks.

To order your copy of the latest Fish Vetting Essentials (only $A99 per copy plus $A15 for postage and handling within Australia), visit www.thefishvet.com.au or click here to proceed directly to the shopping cart.

Check out the book reviews on The Fish Vet’s Facebook Fanpage.


The book is what it says and is an essential addition to the practice bookshelf for any practice that sees ornamental fish or a veterinarian wishing to explore the exciting discipline of ornamental fish veterinary medicine.

Dr Chris Walster BVMS, MVPH, MRCVS, The Island Veterinary Associates, England.


Once in a while comes a book that has the potential to become indispensable to zoos and aquariums. Fish Vetting Essentials has what it needs. It is written by two highly experienced veterinarians with fish health as their specialty. The main part of the book is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases. This is a book that should be recommended for all veterinarians who feel the need to familiarise themselves with fish health at any aquarium.

Mr Svein A Fossa, Pet Scandinavia Magazine.


I use “Fish Vetting Essentials” as my first reference for matters pertaining to aquatic animal health.  Its clear, concise layout and colour photographs make it a highly practical source of information.  The information on diagnostic sample collection and treatment is easy to follow and has enabled us to develop the skills necessary to manage disease cases in fish effectively. I highly recommend “Fish Vetting Essentials” for veterinarians dealing with aquatic species.

Dr Simone Vitali BSc, BVMS, PhD, MACVS (Zoo Animal Medicine), Senior Veterinarian, Perth Zoo.


I have owned a veterinary general practice for 30 years and my copy of Fish Vetting Essentials has been an excellent resource for me when I am asked to treat exotic aquarium fish. Previously the only readily available information on treating and diagnosing fish were anecdotal, unreliable and outdated popular press publications or high-end scientific material that was not useful from a practical point of view. Fish Vetting Essentials is concisely written and contains everything a general practitioner needs to take a logical, helpful approach to aquarium fish problems.

Dr Owen Lavers BVSc, Earlville Vet Surgery, Queensland.


As a veterinary clinician with an interest in the “unusual and exotic” fish species, I am frequently asked to consult with clients who present their fish for examination, diagnosis and treatment. I have an extensive medical library, and Fish Vetting Essentials is by far the most useful reference on fish diseases and fish treatments.

Dr James M Harris BSc, DVM, FRSPH, Mayfair Veterinary Clinic, Tasmania.


FishVetEssentials_2011 eSample.pdf

Watch Dr Loh talk about what’s in the book and how it’s organised – click here.

To order your copy of the latest Fish Vetting Essentials, visit thefishvet.com.au or click here to proceed directly to the shopping cart.

Feel free to pass it on to others who you think might be interested.