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How to Treat “Hole in the Head” in Fish

How to Treat “Hole in the Head” in Fish

Does your fish appear to have lesions or indentations in its head? If so, it might have “hole in the head” disease, otherwise known as hexamitiasis. This is a common disease in freshwater fish that is easy to treat. To learn about how to treat hole in the head in fish, read on.

Make sure your fish eats a proper diet

One common cause of hole in the head is an improper diet. This often happens when fish consume diets low in vitamins A and C. It also happens when fish are fed red pellets, blood worms, and too much protein. For this reason, fish should not be fed live bait. You can add pieces of steamed broccoli and fresh or frozen foods to the fish’s diet to boost its immune system and speed up recovery.

Unfortunately, depending on how long hole in the head has been untreated, your fish might refuse to eat new food. To solve this problem, add old food to the new food. Slowly increase the new food and reduce the old food. Eventually, the fish will get used to the new food. This will regulate its diet.

Maintain your tank

In addition to malnutrition, water pollution can contribute to the disease. Fish can develop hole in the head from activated carbon, ammonia, and nitrate in the fish tank. Also, too many water temperature changes can lead to the disease. To reduce water pollution, replace dirty water with clean water according to your specific breed’s guidelines. To kill toxins and detoxify ammonia, add a dechlorinating product to the water.

Take your fish to the vet

Taking your fish to the vet is a great idea because your vet can do a full examination to rule out other diseases. Your vet will properly administer a liquid test and examine a scale sample to find parasites. He or she will also perform a gill examination to find parasites and the extent of damage to the fish. By doing a fecal examination, your vet can determine if your fish has hole in the head disease. Your vet will scrape any lesions and stain them with solutions to find out how much bacteria is affecting the fish. Finally, if your vet determines your fish is afflicted with hole in the head, they will recommend that you administer medication—likely metronidazole for fish, as this is the most effective "hole in the head" treatment.

When you notice small lesions or indentations in your fish’s head, get it looked at right away. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat. Hopefully, these tips about how to treat hole in the head in fish will get rid of the disease quickly. Check out our website to find other fish products.

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