The article details the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of ichthyophthyriosis in aquarium fish.
The causative agent of ichthyophthyriasis
Ихтиофтириозом называют довольно распространенную среди аквариумных рыб патологию, возбудителем которой является равноресничная инфузория ихтиофтириус. Данная инфузория имеет округлую форму с ресничками по краям в виде обрамления.
Life cycle of the causative agent of ichthyophthyriasis
The life cycle of the parasite is quite complex and begins outside the body of the fish. First mature infusoria repeatedly divides, forming a cyst, which is securely fixed on the aquarium glass or any other suitable surface. Ichthyophthirius is quite prolific, as a single trophonte easily gives rise to more than 2000 daughter cells. After passing the stage of cysts, the latter are modified into theronts and go on a free voyage.
Terontes are not called vagabonds for nothing, because it is they who find the victim and infect either the skin of the fish or the gills. Here, having found a fertile environment for growth and development, the parasite undergoes another metamorphosis and at the right moment, tearing the epithelium, will again leave the body of its host. Thus, the life cycle of Ichthyophthyrium is closed.
Veterinarians state that ichthyophthyriosis affects all fish species without exception and at any age.
Clinical manifestations of ichthyophthiriosis
From the moment of invasion until the appearance of a clear clinical picture takes about 5 days. This is the so-called incubation period of the pathology. The very moment of infestation can be determined by the increasing restless behavior of fish in the aquarium. They, trying to throw off the parasite, keep in a strong water current or rub their bodies against the substrate, aquarium plants and decorations.
Particularly dangerous lesion of ichthyophthyriosis of fry, if there are in the aquarium. In this case, you can confidently predict an unfavorable outcome of the disease.
The main symptom of ichthyophthyriasis is the appearance on the body of fish characteristic white bumps of small diameter, remotely similar to semolina. With a strong infestation of such bumps cover the body of the fish almost completely. At this point, the animal becomes immobile, apathetic and will often swallow atmospheric air. This occurs because the gill petals under the influence of the parasite are destroyed, leading to the formation of difficult breathing blood clots.
Ichthyophthyriasis requires immediate action at the first symptoms of pathology. Otherwise, by the end of the second week from the onset of the disease, fish death will begin.
Diagnosis of ichthyophthyriasis
First of all, the pathology of aquarium fish must be accurately diagnosed. It is not possible to rely only on visually determined symptoms, as many pathologies of aquarium fish have a similar clinical picture, e.g. oodinosis, lymphocystis or mycosporoidal lesions. It will be better to submit a mucus scraping from the surface of the fish body to the veterinary laboratory. Only after the diagnosis has been clarified can treatment be initiated.
For successful treatment will be useful knowledge about the features of the life cycle of the Equinox infusoria. The fact is that the parasite, while it is in the body of the fish, it is impossible to destroy. Therefore, all treatment of ichthyophthyriosis is to destroy ichthyophthyrium in the vagrant stage.
Starting treatment of fish, the temperature of the water in the aquarium is raised to 34 degrees Celsius. Such a measure will exceed the upper temperature limit of survival of the parasite, and the infusoria will die after 6 hours.
It will be better to carry out the treatment in a separate container, which should be prepared in advance. There should be no soil, aquarium plants or decorations. The water to which the medication is added should be intensively aerated.
Ichthyophthyriasis Drug treatment
In the fight against ichthyophthyriosis is well-proven the following mixture, which is given at the rate of 25 liters of aquarium volume: 0.05 grams of quinine, 50000 units of biomycin, 5 milligrams of tripaflavin.
Before starting the fish, the temperature in the treatment aquarium should be the same as in the general aquarium. But after the launch of fish temperature should be smoothly raised to the desired 34 degrees Celsius. You should carefully observe the general condition of the fish. If everything is normal, then continue to maintain the desired mode.
After a day, one third of the water volume should be drained and fresh water with the same composition of medicines with the exception of quinine should be poured in. This procedure should be carried out daily.
It is believed that Ichthyophthyrium will disappear from the aquarium after 7 days. However, it is better to prolong the treatment for another week, as some fish may still have white particles on their bodies.
There are many other ways to treat ichthyophthyriasis besides the one described above. You can even buy a ready-made preparation in a store selling products for animals. In any case, before starting treatment, you should carefully read the instructions and clearly adhere to the dosage.
In addition, the water in the aquarium should be changed frequently, because the biological balance is disturbed, and the so-called bacterial explosion is possible, when the water in the aquarium due to a riot of multiplying bacteria is similar in color to milk. For the same reason, the feeding rate of aquarium fish at the time of treatment is better to reduce.
It is known that the parasite enters the aquarium with sick fish. For this reason, the prevention of ichthyophthyriasis will be a strict quarantine for all new fish. Only in this way you can protect the inhabitants of your aquarium from this scourge.