July1 , 2022

COMMON BACTERIAL DISEASES OF FISH SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENTS

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COMMON BACTERIAL DISEASES OF FISH SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENTS

Bacterial diseases are usually characterized by red streaks or spots and/or swelling of the abdomen or eye.

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i. Red Pest:

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Symptoms:

Bloody streaks on body, fins and/or tail appear, so it is called red pest. In severe infection these streaks could lead to ulceration and possibly followed by fin and tail rot with the tail and/or fins falling off.

Treatment:

External treatments are usually not effective as the disease is internal.

At the appearance of disease:

1. Treat the tank with a disinfectant and clean the tank as best as possible.

2. To disinfect, use acriflavine (trypaflavine) or monacrin (mono-amino-acridine) using a 0.2% solution at the rate of 1 ml per litre. Both disinfectants will colour the water, but the colour disappears as the disinfectants dissipate.

3. Do not feed a lot while the fish is being treated.

4. If the fish do not appear to respond favorably, discontinue disinfecting. Then add an antibiotic to the food. 1% of antibiotic may be carefully mixed with flake food. If you keep the fish hungry they should eagerly eat the mixture before the antibiotic dissipates.

Antibiotics usually available in 250 mg capsules. If added to 25 grams of flake food, one capsule should be enough to treat dozens of fishes. A good antibiotic are Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) and use tetracycline.

ii. Mouth Fungus:

Symptoms:

White cottony patches around the mouth. It looks like a fungus attack of the mouth, so it is called mouth fungus. It is actually caused from the bacterium Chondrococcus columnaris. In the beginning a grey or white line appear around the lips and later short tufts arise from the mouth like fungus. This disease may be fatal due to production of toxins and the inability to eat. Hence treatment at an early stage is essential.

Treatment:

Penicillin at 10000 units per litre is a very effective treatment. Second dose should be given in two days, or use Chloromycetin, 10 to 20 mg per litre, with a second dose in two days.

iii. Tuberculosis:

Symptoms:

Emaciation, hollow belly, possibly sores. Tuberculosis is caused by the Bacterium Mycobacterium piscium. Fish infected with tuberculosis may become hollow bellied, pale, show skin ulcers and frayed fins, and loss of appetite. Yellowish or darker nodules may appear on the body or eyes. The main cause for this disease appears to be over-crowding in un-kept conditions.

Treatment:

There is no known and effective treatment for this disease. The best thing to do is to destroy the infected fish and, if un-kept conditions or overcrowding is the suspected cause, it is required to take necessary measures.

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iv. Dropsy:

Symptoms:

Bloating of the body, protruding scales. Dropsy is caused from a bacterial infection (acromonas) of the kidneys, causing fluid accumulation or renal failure. The fluids in the body build up and cause the fish to bloat up and the scales to protrude.

Treatment:

An effective treatment is to add an antibiotic to the food. With flake food, use about 1% of antibiotic and carefully mix it. Antibiotics in 250 mg capsules if added to 25 grams of flake food will be sufficient to treat dozens of fishes. A good antibiotic is Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol), or use tetracycline.

v. Scale Protrusion:

Symptoms:

Protruding scales without body bloat. Bacterial infection of the scales and/or body causes scale protrusion. An effective treatment is to add an antibiotic to the food. With flake food, use about 1% of antibiotic like Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol), or tetracycline.

vi. Tail Rot & Fin Rot:

Symptoms:

Disintegrating fins that may be reduced to stumps, exposed fin rays, blood on edges of fins, reddened areas at base of fins, skin ulcers with grey or red margins, cloudy eyes. It is caused by the bacteria Aeromonas. If tank conditions are not good an infection can be caused from a simple injury to the fins/tail. Tuberculosis can lead to tail and fin rot. Basically, the tail and/or fins become frayed or lose colour.

Treatment:

Treat the water or fish with antibiotics. A good antibiotic is Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) or tetracycline. Treatment of 1% CuSO4 is also effective.

Read also: why fish farms fail

vii. Ulcer:

Symptoms:

Loss of appetite and slow body movements. It is caused by baceria, haemophilus.

Treatment:

Give dip treatment in 1% CUSO4 for one minute for a period of 3 to 4 days. Antibiotics oxytetracycline and chloramphenicol may be useful in acute infection.

Precautions during Treatment of Bacterial Diseases:

Bacterial diseases are best treated by antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, or erythromycin. The most common parasitic disease called “Ich” can be treated most effectively with copper or malachite green in the right dosage.

Most medications contain copper as an ingredient. Many water treatments like “Aquari-Sol” will also contain copper as an ingredient. The copper may be harmful to most plants and invertebrates, such as snails. Indeed, most snail removers are copper based.

Antibiotic may disturb biological filtration in the tank. Therefore, it is also recommended to monitor either ammonia and nitrite levels of water, or use an ammonia remover such as “Am-Quel” to be sure that the level of ammonia does not exceeds the desired limit.

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