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Aquarium Fish Disease: Fungus Infection

aquarium fish fungusFungus Infection is very common aquarium fish disease affecting the exposed areas of skin tissues, usually a result of injury caused by rough handling, fighting, sometimes inflicted during spawning or open wounds brought about by fish lice or anchor worm attack. The fungal infection appears as a lump of cotton wool which, if left untreated might spread to the other areas of the skin as well. Under a microscope view (insert picture) it looks like strands of human hair combined together to form a large lump.

Fungus is commonly found in tropical warm waters whereby it will spread through spores. Under normal circumstances, it won’t be a threat to your aquarium fish, unless there are exposed areas, coupled with high nitrate levels usually a result of overcrowding in the fish tank. Infected fish will become inactive, easily frightened with loss of appetite and generally it will try to isolate itself.

Other than skin areas, sometimes you can also notice that the gills can also develop the same cottony material. This is usually another type of fungus, which is even more lethal than the one affecting the skin. The main reason is because the fungus will spread so fast that it will cause the gill tissues to die and the fish unable to breath properly. Fish will often start gasping for air on the aquarium surface and usually the infected fish will die in a matter of days.

There are several options when it comes to treating fish fungus. Of course, the first thing to do is to check your water quality especially nitrite and nitrate levels. Immediately perform water change. Use Malachite Green or Potassium Permanganate, which is available from aquarium fish stores, and follow the direction usage indicated on the bottle. On top of that, you can also combine treatment adding 0.5% aquarium salt to the water. Monitor the water temperature at all times to ensure that it doesn’t go above 25degC so that it will help in the recovery process.

Other posts covering similar topics:
» Tips to successful aquarium fish keeping
» Common mistakes made by aquarium owners
» Other fish disease - Ich or white spot

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