Authoritative New Guide Offers Expert Insights on Marine Fish Diseases

disease-book-post3If Chris and I were to categorize all the questions we receive here at Saltwater Smarts, it’s safe to say the vast majority would fit under the heading of “fish disease and health issues.” While we’re always happy to offer advice to our fellow salties and help them succeed in any way we can, responding to fish disease inquiries in this forum presents some very significant challenges.

Among them is the fact that neither of us is a veterinarian (though Chris may play one on TV) and any diagnosis/treatment advice we might dispense is essentially a “best guess.” What’s more, it’s extremely difficult—oftentimes impossible—to determine what’s actually wrong with a fish and recommend an appropriate course of treatment based solely on a description of symptoms and, potentially, a photo of the ailing specimen.

With this dilemma in mind, we asked ourselves, “How can we provide Saltwater Smarts visitors with reliable, authoritative advice on fish diseases rather than mere guesswork that might end up doing more harm than good?”

In seeking an answer, we approached Jay Hemdal, Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates for the Toledo Zoo and an avid aquarium hobbyist with over 45 years of experience under his belt. Jay is one of the first people Chris and I turn to when we have an aquarium-related question we can’t answer or problem we can’t resolve. He’s also an accomplished author, having written six books and over 150 articles on aquarium-related topics. So you can imagine that we were both beyond gratified when, upon hearing our dilemma, Jay agreed to pen an eBook on marine fish diseases to be published here at Saltwater Smarts.


After many long months of writing, editing, and design work, we’re thrilled to announce that the product of our collaboration with Jay, The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes, is now available! In it you’ll find comprehensive, authoritative, easy-to-comprehend information on:

  • How to select healthy specimens
  • Quarantine procedures
  • Arriving at an accurate diagnosis
  • Fish diseases related to husbandry or environment, such as Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)
  • Common parasites of marine fishes, such as marine ich (Cryptocaryon irritans), marine velvet (Amyloodinium), clownfish disease (Brooklynellosis), and red-band syndrome (Uronema marinum)
  • Bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases
  • Exophthalmia (“pop-eye”) and other eye problems
  • Zoonosis and dangerous marine organisms
  • Fish pharmacology
  • A bonus section on invertebrate disease
  • And much, much more!

As Jay stresses in the book, when disease rears its ugly head in your marine aquarium, taking immediate, appropriate action may mean the difference between life and death for the affected specimen(s). That’s why we urge you to arm yourself with this guide before any of your fish get sick. In fact, reading the sections on selecting healthy fish and quarantine protocols might just help you head off most disease problems before they can gain a foothold in your tank.

And if one (or more) of your fish does become ill, The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes will help you arrive at the proper diagnosis and point you to the best possible treatment regimen.

Buy The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Disease of Marine Fishes

Click here to learn more about this guide


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About Jeff Kurtz

Jeff Kurtz is the Co-founder/Editor of Saltwater Smarts, former Senior Consulting Editor for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine, and the aquarist formerly known as “The Salt Creep.” He has been an aquarium hobbyist for over 30 years and is an avid scuba diver.


  1. Jon Norris says

    Well done guys

  2. I can’t think of a better person to write such a book as Jay. I can’t wait to order a copy.
    Paul B

  3. Marcus hardaway says

    Why is it not available to purchase?

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