Costia is one of the many fish diseases that are caused by protozoa. It is a somewhat rare disease that is relatively easy to cure if your fish becomes infected by it. There are several treatments for this disease but it is of course preferable to prevent the protozoa from ever infecting you fish by keeping you aquarium clean and your fish healthy and well fed, while at the same time doing what is possible to avoid introducing diseases and parasites into the aquarium.
Costia has more or less only one symptom, it causes the skin of the infected fish to become cloudy and milky. There are as earlier mention several treatments, two that are very effective and one that often work. The two that are very effective do however have some potentially serious side effects. The less effective one without serious side effects is to raise the temperature in the infected aquarium to 27-28 ºC / 80 - 83º F for a few days which usually cures the disease. This method is not recommended for serious Costia outbreaks as it is not 100% sure to cure to disease and it is preferable to make sure to cure the disease as fast as possible in severe cases.
The two sure ways to treat costia is with Copper (add 2mg per litre water) or Acriflavine (trypaflavine) (add 1ml per litre water). Acriflavine (trypaflavine) can cause sterility in fish and it is therefore very important not to overdose it. Copper on the other hand can poison your fish and potentially kill them if overdosed. It is worth mentioning that some fish are very sensitive to copper and this treatment method should never be used in aquariums containing such species. Read up on your species or ask in the LFS to find out if your fish are sensitive to copper.
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