Fish Lice? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-06-2006, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Fish Lice?

Hi, names matt,
have recently started a saltwater tank in a 3 foot tank and filled with local fish. I am feeding many of the big gobies small fish that are in schools from a local estuarine and only noticed today that when i was feeding my anemenie a parasite crawled out of the gill from one of the feeder fish i was feeding. I looked up what it might be and could only find fish lice, and the book said they sit in the gills and suck blood but dont kill the fish. I have noticed that my blackfish, which are a cichlid looking fish are shaking there gills sometimes and one has marks on the side of its gill where it has rubbed it up against rock. Im not sure if they have it and whether it could contaminate all the fish. I understand the risk of getting fish with parasites from local areas but was wondering what i could add to the aquarium to remove parasites and diseases such as these if they exist.
Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-06-2006, 04:44 AM
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Hi and welcome aboard, Matt.

What feeder fish were you using? If that is one of the freshwater or brackish species, then I'm afraid it could be fish lice.
Your tank contains mostly invertebrates. Not sure how medicines and chemicals will kill the parasites without harming even your anemones.
Fish lice do seem to suck blood but they don't always stay in one area. They will move on other parts of the fish and continue sucking which can hurt the fish.

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-06-2006, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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yes they are just small feeder fish that live in the environment, nothing special they occur in schools and are easily caught for food for the bigger fish.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-06-2006, 07:36 AM
You will more than likely have to move your fish out if your main tank in order to treat them. Adding any chemicals like that to your tank will harm any invets that you have in there.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-04-2007, 12:49 AM
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Are they fish lice or gill flukes? There is a huge difference, and it sounds to me more like a gill fluke.

Fish lice tend to cover other parts of the fish, especially along the base of fins and anal opening, and caudal fin. They are a parasite that feeds on the fish, and needs a living host to survive long term.

With gill flukes, they tend to stay almost entirely in the gills, and will cause irritation and damage to the gills. Gill flukes are highly transmittable in saltwater fish!!! Fish lice can also be highly contageous, and hard to get rid of, though I'll have to do some looking up to find out if they can survive in saltwater.

My suggestion would be to stop feeding your fish anything that doesn't appear to be healthy and/or shows some form of infestation. You could easily infest your entire tank and/or make your fish very sick.

Do they look anything like this?

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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