Monday, July 21, 2014

Common Fish Disease

Bacteriosis Pinnerum (Fin Rot)


Fin rot begins with a slight discoloration of the edges of the fins, making an early detection difficult. As the disease progresses, the fins begin to fray. The deterioration continues, resulting in the only remains of the fins, once the disease is in its terminal stage.


Several bacteria cause Fin Rot, namely "Pseudomonas Flourescens", "Aeromonas Sp". and "Haemophilus Piscium".


Fin Rot is considered difficult to treat. It is recommended to consult with your local fish store about the correct diagnosis as well as a possible treatment.


Ich AKA White Spot

Ick is a protozoan parasite (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), and is extremely contagious. The name translates to "fish louse with many children", a title that fits well, as each parasite may produce over a thousand offspring. Although the disease is the equivalent of a skin infection, it can easily be fatal to a fish stressed by poor diet or habitat.

1. Small white spots resembling sand
2. Fish scratch against rocks and gravel
3. In advanced stages fish become lethargic
4. Redness or bloody streaks in advanced stages

Infected fish are covered to various degrees with small white spots. Severe infestations are easy to spot, but small occurrences often go unnoticed. However, ich won't remain unnoticed for long. After approximately one week of parasitism, mature trophozoites leave their host, settle to a substrate and secrete a cyst. The encysted cell, called a tomont, undergoes rapid division over approximately twenty-four hours to produce 600-1000 daughter cells called tomites. Once these reach maturity, they exit the cyst and develop into a theront stage, which is highly mobile. Theronts then infect new fish, digging their way into exposed parts, under the scales, or more commonly into its gill plate. The entire life-cycle takes about seven to ten days to complete.



Dropsy is actually a "symptom" and not a disease in itself. This disease is characterized by a swollen or hollow abdomen (Ascites). A concentration of fluid in the body tissues and cavities causes the fish's abdomen to become swollen and appear bloated. Swollen areas may exhibit a 'pine-cone' appearance caused by the fish scales sticking out. When a fish has an advanced case of dropsy, its scales will appear to stick off of their body like an opened up pine cones, as shown above.

It is actually undetermined as to what brings on this illness. Once thought to strictly be the result of an internal bacterial infection, this is not necessarily the case. It could be the result of a number of things ranging from an internal bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, internal parasites, or even cancerous tumors.


Hole in the head disease (HITH) also known as Freshwater Head and Lateral Line Erosion (FHLLE).

Oscars, as well as other large cichlids, are commonly afflicted by hole in the head disease.

Symptoms: The symptoms are easily recognizable. First, the fish will develop small, gray, pinhole abrasions around the eyes and head. These lesions will grow and if not treated, will eventually kill the fish.

It is believed that Hexamita, a protozoa, causes this disease. However, individual studies have shown that improvement in nutrition will help symptoms most effectively. Malnutrition seems to be the leading cause and the Hexamita, a secondary infection. Some aquarists blame poor water conditions as the cause of most fish problems. This fact emphasizes the importance of a good filter system, regular water changes and tank maintenance.


Velvet disease (AKA Rust, Gold Dust Disease, Oödinium)

This is caused by Oödinium pilularis, a parasitic skin flagellate.

In freshwater fish Velvet is caused by either Oödinium pilularis or Oödinium limneticum. In marine fish Oödinium ocellatum causes the dreaded Coral Fish disease. All three species have symptoms and life cycles similar to the well known parasite, Ich.

The parasite is single-celled and enters the slime coating of a host fish in its motile juvenile stage where it matures. The mature parasites break through the slime layer and drop to the bottom of the aquarium and attach themselves to solid surfaces. Here they form a cyst, which develops into numerous new juvenile individuals known as tomites.

Velvet is highly contagious and can prove fatal to fish. It is therefore important to treat as early as possible. The infected fish usually swims around scratching at things in the tank very rapidly and usually has its fins very close to its body.
Anchor Worm (Lernea Elegans)

A very visible parasite, they can be seen as a 20mm long, 1-2mm wide clinging to the fish's body. They can be brought in on a newly arriving fish, that hasn't been quarantined, or even as an egg on the plant. An anchor worm will attach to the body of the fish. Flashing and scratching when the anchor worm is still in the larvae stage, since the larvae will attach to the fish's body with the same menace then the adult.

The Anchor worm's life-cycle begins with larvae hatching from eggs in the water. The larvae are free swimming until it finds a suitable host where upon it attaches itself to the gills. Here, the larvae mature and breed after which the males stop becoming parasitic and leave the fish. It is the females that reattach themselves to the host and develop into the worm-like parasites which can be seen clinging to the fish's body.
It is in the spring when the females lay their eggs after which they either die or produce subsequent broods. As the females die, they leave openings on the host's skin, which often allows a secondary fatal infection to enter.
Well, always remember:

SALT BATHS are effective old remedies for many fish diseases, including Ich. Add one tablespoon of common salt (sodium chloride) to a gallon of water at the same temperature as the aquarium, place the affected fish in this for five minutes; remove if the fish shows stress. Use only common salt and NOT iodised salt.

Stronger salt solutions at four tablespoons of common salt per gallon of water may be used as a swab or dip-bath. Do not place the fish entirely in this solution strength, but rather wrap the fish in a clean, moist cloth and dab the affected areas with the solution.

Adding one teaspoon of salt to a gallon of aquarium water makes a bath in which the fish can be kept for longer periods- watch for stress and remove to fresh water of the same temperature, if stress occurs. The addition of salt to the aquarium water at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water is also a useful preventative measure against Ich and Oodinium. Even concentrations of salt as low as 500 mg/L (0.05% solution) are effective controls for Ich in circulating systems. There is no harm to bacteria in biological filters at that low concentration of salt .

EPSOM SALTS can be used to treat constipation in fish. From the tank, remove half the water in a clean container to which is added epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) at the rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon (this keeps water temperature constant for the initial part of the bath. Swim the fish in this solution for 1/4 to 1/2 hour or until stress shows or feces are released. Top the water up in the fish's usual container with dechloraminated water and return the fish to it. Change the water in about an hour to remove any feces and residual salts. Dispose of the epsom salt solution by pouring it around your citrus trees or onto the garden beds, as it is a good for treating magnesium deficiencies in soils.

MALACHITE GREEN is commonly used to treat Ich and other protozoan infections in ornamental fishes (not in food fishes and scale less fish) and is very effective at the application rate of 0.05 to 0.10 mg/L in an indefinite bath. Malachite green combined with Formalin is also effective (0.2 mg/L malachite green + 15 mg/L Formalin) and is present as such in some remedies on the market. HOWEVER, malachite green is a dangerous carcinogen and causes mutations. Pregnant women ought not be exposed to it or handle it. Methylene Blue is safer to use and just as effective in controlling Ich.

METHYLENE BLUE is a heterocyclic aromatic chemical compound that has many uses in a range of different fields, such as biology or chemistry. At room temperature it appears as a solid, odorless, dark green powder, that yields a blue solution when dissolved in water. Methylene blue is used in aquaculture and by tropical fish hobbyists as a treatment for fungal infections. It can also be effective in treating fish infected with ich, the parasitic protozoa Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. It is sold as "White Spot Cure" or "Fungus Cure". It stains plastic and fingers blue, but is safe to use if the directions on the label are followed.

The best treatment is making sure that you have a clean and healthy aquarium for your fish. Insure good water quality and temperature parameters to prevent animals from getting stressed. Ask a veteran aquartist or your vet when using chemicals to treat your fish.

Remember, a ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Until next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... }, 10);
netoops blog