(see Sliminess of the
Actually it is a pest (the larval stages of some dragonflies).
SYMPTOMS The larvae of some dragonflies may prey on
fish and fish fry in fresh water.
TREATMENT This infestation is rather infrequent in
aquariums. Should a problem occur the only real answer id to
refurbish the whole tank and thoroughly clean all elements.
DISEASE ODEMA or DROPSY - causal
pathogen(s) not certain - possibly multiple fungal/bacterial or
viral infection. It could be due to a metabolic or nutritional
SYMPTOMS Fish's body bloats out (as though full of
roe) and, viewed from above, scales stand away from body producing a
pineapple-like appearance - most common in Carp family and
Anabantids. Long, pale faecal casts. Ulcers on body, pale gills and
a "pop eye" appearance are also common.
TREATMENT As soon as abdominal swelling is noted
isolate the fish and treat with a broad spectrum antibiotic. Early
treatment is essential. You could use oxytetracycline (20-100 mg/
litre; five days bath, may need repeating), tetracycline
hydrochloride (40-100 mg/ litre; five days bath, may need
repeating)or minocycline hydrochloride. For minocycline we recommend
250mg/10 gallons of water. On day 2 change all the water and add the
medicine again at the same dose for another 2 days. Increase
aeration during treatment. Do not use minocycline a third time in a
raw. Caution: tetracyclines are photo sensitive - turn lights off
during treatment - better still cover the whole tank with a blanket.
If the fish is still eating, soak the food in a concentrated
solution of the antibiotic before feeding.
PREVENTION Avoid overfeeding or feeding the wrong kind
of food (e.g. vegetable matters to carnivores).
- gill worms (see
A symptom common to many diseases (eye fungus, worm cataract Proalaria)
and water condition problems. If eyes are protruding this may be an
indication of more underlying diseases.
Caused by the larval stage of digenetic fluke parasites, such as Clinostomum,
SYMPTOMS The parasite responsible lodges in the lens,
humour (liquid) or retina of the eye and may do considerable damage
if present in large numbers. The extent of this damage ranges from
eye cloudiness to lens rupture and blindness. Low-level infestations
may occur unnoticed. TREATMENT Very rarely necessary and is
difficult if not impossible. Copper treatment (continuous bath) may
help. Organophosphorous antiparasitic remedies may be used too.
PREVENTION Avoid obviously infected fish and
discourage fish-eating birds from visiting garden ponds to prevent
the life cycle being completed.
and tail rot (bacterial)
Usually caused by various bacteria such as Aeromonas,
Pseudomonas and myxobacteria.
SYMPTOMS Split, ragged or stumpy fins, often with a
white edge to them.
TREATMENT Chlortetracycline 10-20 mg / litre,
continous bath for up to 5 days, may need repeating. Oxytetracycline
hydrochloride 20-100 mg / litre, continous bath for up to 5 days,
may need repeating. Caution: tetracyclines are photo sensitive -
turn lights off during treatment - better still cover the whole tank
with a blanket. If the fish is still eating, soak the food in a
concentrated solution of the antibiotic before feeding.
Nifurpirinol up to 2 mg / litre may need repeating. 5-10 minute
Other commercially available medications designated for aquarium
use. Follow instructions. In all cases it is better to overdose than
PREVENTION Some of these pathogens can be transferred
in tank by the keeper. Wash your hands before putting them in the
and tail rot (fungus)
Caused by various species of aquatic fungi, including Saprolegnia
SYMPTOMS Gray, brown or white cotton-wool-like growths
or tufts on the skin and fish of freshwater and brackish fish.
Begins as a small patch but can develop and quickly kill the fish.
TREATMENT Use a proprietary fungus remedy. Treat the
whole tank but isolate and treat heavily infected fish separately.
Methylene blue can also be used; 2 mg/litre, continuous bath for
several days - repeat if needed.
PREVENTION Find and eradicate causal factor. This
disease occurs in fish with poor health. The spores or seeds that
give rise to the fungal infection are very common to water but can
only penetrate the skin of fishes that have been damaged either by
fighting, spawning activity, or attack by other parasites. Not
correct water parameters, stress, poor hygiene or physical damage
usually encourage the onset of the disease.
Fish pox, a
SYMPTOMS White, gray or pink growths appear on the
skin and fins. In many cases, an affected fish looks as if molten
wax was poured over the body. In extreme cases the growths may
become too pronounced and bear similar pigmentation to the
TREATMENT There is no reliable treatment. Raising the
temperature by 2-3 degrees may eliminate the problem temporarily.
Since even badly affected fish do not seem to suffer and the
infection is not markedly infectious you shouldn't be too concerned.
It is unsightly rather than dangerous.
PREVENTION Avoid buying infected fish.
Caused by free living animals.
SYMPTOMS Such animals appear to suddenly
"bloom" in an aquarium. Small flatworms, which can be
white, cream, red or orange in color, usually move with a smooth
gliding motion. They are usually a few millimeters to, perhaps, a
centimeter in length.
TREATMENT None effective but prevention is effective.
PREVENTION Do not overfeed, regularly maintain the
filter and clean the gravel often.
- external and internal "worm" parasites belonging to the
species in the family Dactylogyridae
parasitise the gills and digestive tract. The family Gyrodactylidae
parasitise the body and finnage. Cestodes
parasitise the internal digestive tract.
SYMPTOMS In early stages (first 24 / 48 hours) fishes
show signs of extreme skin/gill irritability, continually scratching
and scraping on rocks etc., and "flicking" the pelvic and
dorsal fins against the side of the body. However, unlike diseases
which can share the same symptoms of skin irritation sometimes, this
condition never causes an increase in breathing rate until the fish,
after several days / weeks without treatment, is approaching death,
and rarely are the near microscopic parasites noticeable as spots on
the body, although they can sometimes be seen as blurred spots on
TREATMENT Carry out partial water change and treat the
tank with formalin. Stop all feeding till symptoms disappear and
"spring clean" filter bed. Bear in mind that these
diseases are extremely contagious.
PREVENTION Maintain a much higher standard of
aquasystem hygiene, paying particular attention to filter
cleanliness and avoiding overfeeding. Always stir up filter-bed
before siphoning off old aquarium water when carrying out a partial
water changes. Never use non-irradiated seafoods, Daphnia, Tubifex,
bloodworm, mosquito etc. Above all - carry out routine prophylaxis
at least once per month on all systems.
(see Fin and
Tail rot - fungus)
- aeromonas (see
- you may also click to the following link for a
List of medication products by leading