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Freshwater and Saltwater Diseases and Medications

This is a discussion on Freshwater and Saltwater Diseases and Medications within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Dropsy of Aquarium Fish Synonyms: Bloat, Malawi Bloat Symptoms: Protrusion of scales, distended abdomen, pop-eye Causes: Dropsy has several possible causes: poor water quality, ...

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Freshwater and Saltwater Diseases and Medications
Old 09-11-2007, 03:31 AM   #21
 
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Dropsy of Aquarium Fish
Synonyms:
Bloat, Malawi Bloat

Symptoms:
Protrusion of scales, distended abdomen, pop-eye

Causes:
Dropsy has several possible causes: poor water quality, poor food quality, bacterial infections, intestinal flagellates, excessive proteins (especially to purely vegetarians)

Longer periods of stress can weaken the fish's immune system thus enabling the bacteria to enter the fish's body. At this stage, it becomes increasingly difficult to remedy the situation. The disease begins with a bacterial infection of the intestines resulting in the excretion of slimy fish wastes. In the course of the disease, parts of the mucous membrane of the intestines come off. They stay at the anus of the fish. Even if the fish keeps taking up the food, it cannot digest the food anymore leading to the malfunctioning of the internal organs. The amount of water the fish takes in then cannot be expelled and the excess liquid gather in the body cavity resulting in the protrusion of scales and eyes.

Excessive proteins can also cause bloat among fish, mbunas most especially as the fish cannot effectively digest the proteins in their stomachs. Herbivorous fish have longer digestive systems that are not designed to digest excessive proteins in comparison to the carnivores' shorter digestive system. Do not feed your herbivorous fish foods that contain too much protein. For more information about foods and their nutritional values, please check this topic.

Treatment:
Epsom salts, metronidazole, kanamycin sulfate

Treatment may not be effective as the disease itself is internal making it difficult to treat and determine the exact cause.

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:01 AM   #22
 
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Erythrodermatitis
Synonyms:
Red Sore Disease

Symptoms:
Lethargic, anorexic, emaciated, heavily ulcerated with bloody red sores

Causes:
Poor environment conditions can encourage bacteria of the Aeromonas genus to proliferate and infect fish. The bacteria itself is responsible for other bacterial diseases such as fin rot.

Erythrodermatitis for carps occur during summer and autumn. The disease takes a slow course. At first, the fish may appear to have a healthy impression but red stains appear in the next few weeks turning into ulcers that break open and the fish soon afterwards die with large open sores on the skin.

This disease has been confused with spring virosis as it appears as red stains the early stages. It can be assumed that this disease can be transmitted by blood-sucking parasites, a similar case that occurs with the spring virosis.

Treatment:
Terramycin, Romet-30, Sera Cyprinopur


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Old 09-11-2007, 04:22 AM   #23
 
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Enteric Red Mouth (Yersinia ruckeri)
Symptoms:
Red mouth and hemorrhages on the belly, lethargy, lack of appetite, infection in the kidney, liver and spleen

Causes:
The disease is caused by the motile, gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium identified as Yersinia ruckeri. This disease can readily be transmitted by contact or water. Fortunately, this disease is very rare.

Salmonids, goldfish, cisco, largemouth bass, emerald shiners, sturgeon, fathead minnows, walleye, crayfish and muskrats have been found to be infected with ERM in the past based on researches.

Treatment:
Sulfamerazine, Terramycin, Oxytetracycline

Note: None of the drugs used in the past against ERM has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use on food fish
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:37 AM   #24
 
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Body Fungus (Saprolegnia spp.)
Symptoms:
White cottony patches on the skin with long filaments that stand away

Symptoms must be differentiated from the false mouth fungus, Columnaris.

Causes:
Fungi are decomposing organisms that exist in every aquarium. The wound must always be treated immediately. If left untreated, fungal spores can attach themselves on the wounds and eventually harm the fish. They serve as a secondary infection to the wounds and open sores.

Treatment:
Methylene Blue, Jungle Fungus Guard, Mardel Maroxy

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:59 AM   #25
 
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Hemorrhage Septicemia (Aeromonas hydrophila)
Symptoms:
Bright red streaks on fins (caused by vascular inflammation due to systemic/bloodborne bacterial infection), patchy red discoloration around the body, pop-eye, protrusion of scales, distended abdomen, rapid breathing

Causes:
Gram negative motile rod bacteria. It is usually associated with poor water quality, stress and overpopulation. Transmission is done by contamination of water with diseased fish.

Treatment:
Broad spectrum antibiotics. Frequent water changes are necessary to improve water quality and allowing recovery of fish.


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Old 09-11-2007, 05:37 AM   #26
 
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Fish Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium spp.)
Symptoms:
Emaciation, inflammation of the skin, exophthalmia (Pop-eye), ascites (Dropsy), open lesions, ulceration, sluggishness, bloated abdomen, fin rot, scale loss, skin discoloration, bent spines

Causes:
Various pathogens. Positive diagnosis not possible outside the laboratory and microscopy.

According to Adrian Tappin, there are several species of Mycobacteriosis species found during further analysis of 42 samples taken from a home aquaria: Mycobacterium fortuitum, M. flavescens, M. chelonae, M. gordonae, M. terrae, M. triviale, M. diernhoferi, M. celatum, M. kansasii and M. intracellulare.

Under pathology examination, these bacteria are often found in apparently healthy rainbowfishes. Young rainbowfishes infected with mycobacteria often show no external signs. As they grow, the infection becomes more serious. However, once present in an aquarium, a 100% infection rate of the population is conceivable.

Treatment:
There is no known treatment against this disease. Destroy all afflicted fish and disinfect the whole aquarium.

More information can be found in Adrian Tappin's website "Home of the Rainbowfish".

Warning:
This can be transmitted as zoonosis called "fish tank granuloma" on hands with open wounds. Use gloves if reaching the tank with suspect animals.

Check this article by Dr. Barb for more details regarding the "fish tank granuloma".
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:56 AM   #27
 
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Fish Leech (Piscicola geometra)
Symptoms:
Extreme lethargy, paling or darkening of colour, fish leech can be seen attached to the fish's body

Description:
Fish leech, in comparison to fish lice and anchorworms, are true parasites. They bite into the fish and feed off the fluid and tissue causing severe damage, finally leading to certain death if left unchecked.

As Dieter Untergasser had previously stated in regards to the subject about the Spring Virosis, fish leeches, along with other blood-sucking parasites, serve as vectors in the transmission of the disease, Spring Virosis.

According to Duncan Griffiths, while the leech is a true parasite, it differs from anchor worm and the fish louse in one major aspect: Piscicola geometra does not need to live on the koi, it merely attaches to the host to feed and then, once gorged, it leaves the host and returns only to feed. They are very adept swimmers, and if you study them before you nuke them they can be seen targeting their host from across a pond and swimming quite strongly to their victim.

The leech is also oviparous and produces eggs. Like Argulus, a leech has to leave the host to perform the egg laying function in the weeds or on the pond bottom or sides. The complete life cycle can take up to 30 days, the most common route of infection is via untreated plants introduced to the pond and birds, very rare in incoming fish.

Fish leech measures several centimeters in length and can be seen clearly attached to a fish.

Treatment:
Masoten, Malathion, salt dip, Sera Cyprinopur

Removing fish leeches by pulling is usually not recommended as it can lead to injury to the fish.


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Old 09-11-2007, 06:47 AM   #28
 
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Fish Lice (Argulus)
Description:
A major threat in a pond or tank
Argulus, or fish lice, represent a major threat to fish health; both as a result of direct tissue damage and secondary infections. Fish lice are one of the biggest parasites (5-10 mm) and visible with the naked eye.

Argulus feed by first inserting a pre-oral sting which injects digestive enzymes into the body. They then suck out the liquidised body fluids with their proboscis-like mouth. Feeding can take place on the skin or in the gills.

This feeding activity causes intense irritation. Fish are damaged by the constant piercing of the skin by the stylet and there is often localised inflammation. The other danger is that opportunistic bacteria such as Aeromonas or Pseudomonas sometimes infect these damaged areas leading to skin ulcers and gill disease. It is also believed that the stylus may occasionally ?inject? viruses and bacteria into the fish. The various spines, suckers and hooks that lice use for attachment may also cause additional tissue damage. So all-in-all a thoroughly nasty parasite!

In addition to physical damage, affected fish are subjected to severe stress, which often leads to secondary parasite infestations such as white-spot and Costia. This type of combined attack on stressed and often weakened fish can result in high numbers of fatalities.

So quite clearly, even finding one louse warrants immediate treatment and a follow up examination to check for secondary health problems

Identification
Biologically, Argulus are crustacean parasites in the subphylum Crustacea - which means they are grouped along with shrimps, prawns and water fleas etc. Animals in this group have a rigid or semi-rigid chitin exoskeleton, which has to be moulted as they grow larger. They are in the class Branchiura, a group of crustaceans with very similar features; all branchiurians are fish parasites.

Although it is easy to spot lice when you know they are there, they are easy to miss in the rush to take skin scrapes. To the naked eye they appear as very small dark spots that are easy to overlook unless they move. They are often found in relatively sheltered areas behind the fins or around the head. They are usually easier to spot on fins rather than the body, as they tend to show up more against a plain transparent background. Lice are oval-shaped and flat and capable of moving very quickly. In an aquarium, they can sometimes be seen swimming as they move from host to host.

Fish with a heavy lice infestation will show a classic irritation response such as rubbing and flashing. At a later stage they will become lethargic. Affected fish may have focal red lesions on their body.

The Life Cycle of Argulus
As with most fish parasites, they have a high reproductive potential. Mating takes place on the fish, after which the female swims away and lays eggs on plants and other submerged objects. When the eggs hatch the juvenile passes through several metamorphic changes as it develops into an adult. Around 4 days after hatching, the newly-hatched juvenile actively seeks a host and continues its development on the fish. The whole cycle takes between 30 100 days depending on temperature. The eggs can over-winter and hatch in spring as water temperatures increase. Adults can survive without a host for several days. Any treatment plan has to take account of emerging juveniles and therefore prevailing temperatures.

Treatment:
The most successful and effective treatments against lice are organophosphates. Using three treatments over the estimated life cycle of the parasite almost always eradicates lice. At typical summer pond temperatures of 20oC or higher, treatments at 10-day intervals will kill existing adults and juveniles as well as emerging juveniles. The down-side is that in the UK organophosphates are banned for use as fish disease treatments! They are still obtainable - but at a sky-high price!

There are no other treatments currently available that are likely to be totally effective. There is some suggestion that using a chitin inhibitor such as dimilin will stop the juveniles developing as they moult their exoskeleton but there has been no real testing done on this proposal. (dimilin)

More environmentally friendly alternatives are currently undergoing licensing evaluation tests for use in the food-fish industry. However, the draw back is again liable to be costs. Initial reports suggest that these alternatives may be better at controlling rather than eradicating lice.

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Old 09-11-2007, 07:06 AM   #29
 
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Anchorworm (Lernaea elegans)
Description:
The crustacean Lernaea is often called "anchorworm" by aquarists as it anchors deeply in the fish skin with its branched suction organ and has an elongated body without visible limbs. At the back end, there are two sac-like outgrowths where eggs develop.

It takes the eggs between several days and and two weeks to attain maturity. Then they fall off and the larvae hatch. The mother crustacean dies and is repelled from the fish tissue after the eggs have fallen off. The laravae are also parasites and go to the gills of the fish to suck blood. As larvae, they attain sexual maturity there. After mating, the female larvae leave the fish and swim around as planktonic organisms for a short time. Then they find a host and bore their way into its skin.

Treatment:
1. Dimilin Powder
The only known method of killing this parasite, without killing the fish is DIMILIN POWDER which can be used safely at any water temperature and has an action of sterilizing the adult and larval stages of this parasite which insures that all eggs produced, after the application of Dimilin, will not hatch.

Method: Dimilin Powder at the rate of 1 gram per ton of pond water. Measure out the quantity required and mix in a plastic bucket with pond water ensuring that the powder is dissolved then add to the pond in the previous manner. A second dosage may be needed to ensure that the life cycle of the anchor worm has been halted. After this second application the dead adults, which will still be hanging from the fish, can be removed using tweezers but making sure that the hooks, as well as the tail of the anchor worm are removed and then apply a proprietary topical dressing to prevent a secondary infection.

2. Potassium Permanganate
There is another way of removing anchor worm but more care has to be taken when removing all parts of the anchor worm which is to mix a strong solution of potassium permanganate crystals of 1 gram into 25 mls of hot water. Mix well until dissolved and then dip the tweezers into this solution prior to the removal of the anchor worm, once the solution touches the body, the anchor worm releases its grip immediately and it can then be lifted clear of the fish and the water. Wipe the end of the tweezers on a clean tissue to remove all traces before attempting to remove another anchor worm.

3. Sera Cyprinopur
Follow the instructions accordingly. Use Sera Baktopur to treat the wounds of the fish after the anchor worms have been pulled out. When pulling anchor worms out of the fish, firmly grasp the tweezers near its base where it is burying to the skin and quickly pull it out.

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Old 09-11-2007, 07:30 AM   #30
 
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Ergasilus
Symptoms:
Fish jumped up and down, rubbing their bodies against the sides and bottom of the tank. The parasites are often big enough to be observed with the naked eye, or at least with a magnifying glass. Thread-like tentacles hanging from the gills are an indication of ergasilus.

Description:
The crustacean Ergasilus is a copepod just like Lernaea. It measures about 1.5 mm. The front antennae have transformed into pointed clasping hooks with which they puncture the skin of the gills in order to attach to the fish. Only the female Ergasilus live on fish as parasites whereas the males are planktonic organisms.

Blood loss is high and secondary infections like gill rot are a frequent consequence. The crustaceans can only be introduced into an aquarium or a garden pond in their larva stage with live feeds from fish ponds.

Reproduction in an aquarum is not probable as in most cases, you do not have both sexes in the aquarium simultaneously.

Treatment:
Masoten, Dimilin [diflubenzuron], Larvadex, Lufenuron, Metriphonate, trichlorphon, organophosphates

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