Diseases in fish: Velvet skin disease (Oodinium)
We continue our series dedicated to fish diseases. Velvet skin disease in fish is often caused by «dinoflagellates»: tiny parasitic single-celled creatures with one or more microscopic hair-like appendages called «flagella» that help them move or attach to hosts.
Oodinium is one such parasitic flagellate that is widely found as a disease of marine fish, but can also attack freshwater fish.
It adheres to the skin and gills of fish and can be seen as a velvety brown film, and although it can sometimes be confused with » White Spot Disease In Fish «, the spots caused by oodinium are much more little ones
The easiest way to see these little dots is to watch the fish at night with a flashlight. You should then be able to make out the powdery dots on your skin.
Infected fish will often be near the surface of the tank and will occasionally attempt to scratch at plants or decorations in frantic motions to get rid of the parasites. As the parasites also affect the gills, infected fish often have breathing difficulties as well.
Another «Velvet» infection is Ichthyobodo necatrics, also known as Costia. This small, bean-shaped parasite has a few flagella and is very fast and mobile.
Occasionally this parasite can infect the intestine, but it can be found mainly on the skin of the fish as a creamy white film.
Another such parasite is Trichodina, which constantly moves in a circle and looks like an old wagon wheel. Fortunately, its distinctive shape makes it easy to identify under a microscope.
The good news about velvet skin disease is that you don’t need to know precisely what type of protozoan has infected your fish, because all of these infections can be treated with just one drug: eSHa 2000.
This specialized medicine not only combats velvet skin disease safely and effectively, but also helps prevent the risk of secondary bacterial infections that can attack after the main protozoa have been treated.
Parasitic infections often leave open holes in the skin where bacteria can hide, meaning fish are vulnerable to secondary attack after they have healed from velvet disease. However, eSHa 2000 contains an antibacterial component to prevent this, ensuring that the fish is healed forever.