Latin name: Chilodonella Other names: Pathogen:
Water has a milky appearance,
Microscopic examination of skin and gill slime shows the parasites,
Fish are inert,
Fish do not take food very well (low appetite),
Fish do swinging movements,
Fish hang near the surface,
Fish itch (fish scratch on the rocks and other objects),
Fish jump out of the water,
Blue-grayish slime coating,
Fins stick together,
In early stages, affected fish will sway. A dull-bluish coating along the lateral line and a little above it can be observed. As the disease progresses, a bluish-grey coating covers the skin. Fish will sway, rub on hard objects and plants, show loss of appetite. Fins become clamped. The parasites infests the gills covering them in film and thus cause death by asphyxia. If gills are affected, the coating does not appear, fish will show signs of distress, hang at the surface and try to jump out of the aquarium. Then it becomes lethargic. The disease often results in high mortality. Microscopic examination of scrapings of slime from the skin and gills will reveal parasites. Another characteristic sign to look for is water turbidity.
It is a cold water, invasive disease, caused by Chilodonella cyprinis. The parasite has a round elongated (45-70 micrometers) flattened body covered in cilia. It affects the fish’s skin and gills. Rapid reproduction of parasites occurs at water temperatures of 5-10C (41-50F). If water temperatures reach 15C (59F), the progression of the disease slows down. At 20C (68F) it stops. In adverse conditions, including water temperatures of 30C (86F) and above, the parasite forms a cyst which enables it to survive this period. The parasite can lie dormant for long periods of time, especially in aquaria with old water. Rapid changes in oxygen levels, chemical composition of the water or decomposing food cause rapid reproduction of the parasites. The sign to look for is water turbidity, particularly in aquaria with Mollienesia, Xiphophorus helleri, and Phalloceros caudomaculatus.
How to cure:
There are several treatments that can be used. These include the use of Rivanol, Trypaflavine, Methylene blue, Chloramine, Bicillin-5. To treat fish in the main aquarium, use Bicillin-5, Methylene blue, Malachite Green with copper sulphate. For treatment in the hospital tank, use Malachite Green, Bicillin-5, hydrochloride.
If fish in the main aquarium begin to die, then they should not be treated in a separate tank, because fish are weakened. In this case, water temperature is raised to 30-32C (86-90F), aeration is used. This regime should be maintained until fish become strong again. Only after this they can be treated in a separate tank. This regime will not eliminate all parasites, as some of them will form a cyst. That is why the aquarium, gravel and plants are disinfected. After recovery, perform a water change.
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Avoid changing the largest part of the water , prevent overfeeding by rapidly decomposing food, particularly dried, poorly-washed Tubifex worms.