Velvet is a disease caused by protozoa that infects the fins and body of the fish. The disease is not that uncommon but can easily be treated once diagnosed. Some fish species such as Danios are more susceptible to velvet then others, and once infected they can infect other fish species in the aquarium that do not attract this disease as easily. Species that attract this disease easily are usually more resilient toward its negative health effects and can be infected without becoming seriously ill or die. The fish should regardless of this be treated, since an infect fish as earlier mentioned can infect other fish in the aquarium. The disease is extremely contagious and is usually fatal unless treated.
The main symptom of velvet and what has given it its name is the presence of golden or brownish dust on the body and fins of the infected fish. The disease can in fact look rather good on some fish. The golden dust often first appears around the gills as that often are the first place the disease infects. Other symptoms include clamping of the fins, shortage of breath, scratching on the décor, and infected gills.
Velvet can be treated with Acriflavine (trypaflavine) or copper. Both substances have potentially serious side effects and it is therefore important not to overdose and to gradually change the water in the aquarium once the treatment is completed. Copper can poison and kill a fish while Acriflavine (trypaflavine) can cause infertility in fish. Use 0.2 mg copper per litre aquarium water or 1 ml Acriflavine (trypaflavine) per litre aquarium water. There are some information that increased temperature 80F + /27C + might help cure this disease but this has not been confirmed and using copper or Acriflavine (trypaflavine) is recommended.
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