Pet and Aquarium Fish | Centre for Veterinary Education

Pet and Aquarium Fish

This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of fish, and will cover selected areas of care and husbandry related to freshwater pond and aquarium fish.

Learn to treat and diagnose problems in pet fish and give owners advice on simple setup and maintenance of aquariums and ponds.

Fish may be presented to a veterinary clinic when unwell, traumatised or for post mortem examination. Commonly the owner is unfamiliar with handling their own fish, and what is the normal behaviour and anatomy of their fish. The veterinarian must decide if the fish is normal, unwell or an emergency case. In order to do so, they must be familiar with normal fish anatomy and husbandry. Importantly, the veterinarian must also have a good knowledge of pond and aquarium health. Unwell fish may need further diagnostic work up to determine the cause of illness, including faecal tests, skin/gill scrapes, water quality tests, radiographs and post mortems. Once a diagnosis has been reached, appropriate treatment, medication and/or surgical procedures may be necessary on these often relatively simple cases.

On completion of this course, participants will have a basic knowledge and understanding of the husbandry and common illnesses in pond and aquarium fish, the diagnostic tests available and treatment options.

Veterinary nurses arw welcome to enrol in this course with permission from the tutor.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand basic pet and aquarium fish husbandry as it relates to fish health

  • Perform a full physical examination on a fish, both conscious and sedated

  • Identify the common parasites of fish

  • Diagnose and treat the common diseases seen in fish


  1. Anatomy and Physiology

  2. Husbandry

  3. Emergency Medicine and Care

  4. Examination

  5. Special Procedures: Anaesthesia, Surgery and Radiology

  6. Water Quality

  7. Microscope Diagnosis

  8. Common Problems and Diseases

  9. Therapeutics

  10. Approaches to Common Conditions

Course Delivery

This course comes with:

  • Video lectures, photographs, useful resources and case studies within each module

  • Self-assessed multiple choice quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and information exchange with your peers and tutors

  • An electronic certificate available for download upon successful completion of the course

The estimated time to complete this course is 10 hours and it will be open for 4 weeks.


Monday 26 February - Sunday 25 March 2018
Delivered Online


BVSc MACVSc (Avian Health)

Alex Rosenwax undertook his veterinary studies with the specific aim of working with birds. This desire stems from an early childhood love for and fascination with birds. After graduating from Veterinary Science in 1991, he successfully completed the Membership Exams for the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health in January 1996 and then established an all-bird & exotics veterinary service in Sydney. The bird & exotics veterinary service is based in Waterloo, Sydney and with five vets and sees referrals as well as primary accession cases. Alex is dedicated to providing quality care and treatment for all birds & exotics including fish, reptiles and small exotic mammals. He has been author or co-author on over 20 papers on both birds and exotics in peer reviewed journals and conferences. 

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.