Don’t let the name fool you—velvet disease can be deadly. This disease, commonly known for flying under the radar until it is too late, can still be treated if caught early enough. For directions on how to treat velvet disease in fish, continue reading this article. Hopefully, if you are an active and well-educated fish owner, you will be able to spot the signs in just enough time that you can give your fish the velvet fish disease treatment they need!
What Is Velvet Disease?
Velvet disease occurs when the parasite Oodinium dinospore, also known as tomite, attaches to a fish and penetrates the skin, fins, and gills. Once it has attached to these areas of the fish, it then feeds on the nutrients inside the fish. Once the parasite has fed on the fish, they form a reproductive cyst that divides into hundreds of tomites that repeat the cycle.
Symptoms and Signs
If you are worried that your fish might be suffering from velvet disease or if you want to know what to look out for in the future, read the signs listed below.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Inhabitant scratches body against hard surfaces
- Inconsistency in breathing
- Fins clamped against the body
- Yellow, rusty, or velvety film on skin
- Skin of inhabitant is peeling off
To stop this disease from progressing and severely hurting or killing your fish, you must identify the symptoms as soon as they occur. The best way to prevent illnesses is to always keep a close eye on your pets!
Treatment and Prevention Options
Following all the treatment and prevention tips described below can help your fish fight off velvet disease. Keep in mind that this disease is highly contagious and usually reaches later stages before being diagnosed. This information is crucial when implementing the treatment and prevention options. The tips for treating this disease are as follows:
- Raise the Water Temperature: This simple step will decrease the overall lifecycle of the parasite that is infecting the fish and allow you to treat the infestation faster.
- Dim the Lights: This specific parasite depends on light. If the lights are turned down and kept that way, it allows you to eliminate the infestation at a faster pace.
- Add Aquarium Salt: Adding salt to your tank will allow your fish to produce more slime and mucus, which ultimately deters the parasite.
- Use Antibiotics: Purchasing and administering fish cephalexin antibiotics will help fight off the disease as well. Be sure to follow the instructions for the medication.
This explanation of marine velvet disease, its signs and symptoms, and the treatment options that are available will hopefully lead you down the right path on how to treat velvet disease in fish. If you are proactive, keep an eye on your fish, and provide proper treatment, it is our hope that your fish will feel better in no time. And if you need antibiotics for your fish, make sure to check out our website to purchase exactly what you need!