In this category you will find articles that contain detailed information regarding the cause behind fish diseases and how to prevent, treat and cure them. The most common fish diseases are White Spot Disease (Ichthyophthirius multifilis), Marine White Spot Disease (Cryptocaryon), Skin or gill flukes, Anchor Worms, Hole in the Head disease (Hexamita), Velvet (Oodinium), Marine Velvet (Amylodinium), Fin Rot, Tuberculosis and Dropsy. White Spot Disease is caused by a parasite named Ichthyophthirius multifilis, and the disease is therefore also commonly known as Ich or Ick.
It is easy for the aquarist to involuntary introduce fish diseases to the aquarium when purchasing new fishes, invertebrates, plants and aquarium decorations. Bringing new living organisms into the aquarium is naturally more risky than inserting a new piece of equipment, since most malevolent organisms rapidly succumb without a suitable host. It is however possible for some organisms to stay dormant and survive without a host, and you should therefore always be careful when you move aquarium decoration and equipment from between aquariums.
White spot disease is caused by the Ichthyophthirius multifilis and the most distinguishing symptom is white spots that develop on the body and/or fins of your fish. Heavy breathing can be another symptom, and an infected fish will often scrub it self against rough surfaces in the aquarium.
Marine White Spot Disease is caused by a parasite named Cryptocaryon, but was earlier believed to be the result of an infection with a saltwater form of Ichthyophthirius. The symptoms are similar to freshwater Ich. It is possible for saltwater species become immune against Cryptocaryon and the immunity can stay for up to 6 months.
Skin and gill flukes are caused by parasitic flatworms known as Trematodes. Trematodes are called “flukes” since they have the same flattened body shape as a flounder, and the old Saxon name for flounder was fluke. A healthy fish will usually be able to withstand a small fluke attack, but a large fluke infestation can be lethal since skin flukes and gill flukes can cause severe tissue damage and lesions. Skin and gill flukes can also be the reason behind hyperplasia of both skin and gill epithelium. When the skin and gills are damaged by Trematodes, it will be even easier for new Trematodes to attack the fish.
Anchor Worms are thread-like worms that attach themselves to the head of the fish. You need to treat your fish with a remedy especially made in order to kill Anchor worms, since common treatments such as marine salt will have little or no effect on the Anchor worms. Never pull out the worms using force, since the head of the worm will stay attached to the head of the fish and grow a new body.
Hole in the Head disease is caused by Hexamita, a flagellated protozoan that is found in the gastrointestinal tracts of many fish species. Even healthy fish can carry Hexamita. If the water quality drops or if your fish is weakened by some other problem, Hexamita can spread from the intestines via feces in the water and attack the outside of the fish. A small sore will form above the eyes of the fish and eventually grow in to a large hole. Large fish species are more prone to hole in the head disease; especially large cichlids such as Oscars and Jurupari Earth Eaters.