FISH DISEASES: wATER MOLD, BLACK SPOT

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FISH DISEASE ARTICLES: WATER MOLD INFECTION

Synonyms. Saprolegniosis, Ulcerative mycosis, Oomycetes, Cotton mouth disease.

The most common presentation of water mold infection as as a relatively superficial, cottony growth on the skin or gills.  Such lesions usually begin as small, focal infections that can rapidly spread over the surface of the body.   It is not unusual for large lesions to suddenly appear within 24 hours.  New lesions are white, due to the mycella of the fungus, and over time will become red, brown, or green as a result of trapping algae or debris.  When the fish are removed from the water they appear to have a "slimy" matted mass growing out of the skin and scales.

This disease will progress rapidly, producing lesions that can form a deep, necrotic ulcer.  This can extend deep into the body and will frequently affect internal organs.  After time the infected tissue will slough off, leaving a large crater-like hole, surrounded by dark red or white muscle.

Although typical saprolegniosis lesions grow rapidly over the surface of the skin, they usually do not penetrate deeply into muscle.  However, the damage to the skin or gills may be enough to kill the fish.  The severity of the disease is determined by the area of skin and gill damage.  The larger the area affected, the greater the osmotic stress and electrolyte imbalance.  Skin woulds due to net damage or other trauma increase the risk of infection.

Many oomycetes display a seasonal re-occurrance.  Saprolegnia species are seen mostly in cooler months of the year.  Most saprolegniaceous oomycetes are prevented even by moderate salt content in the water.  There is also evidence that many fungal infections affect hosts that are "stressed".

Oomycetes infections can also be a secondary infection.  If the fish had a pre-existing bacterial infection due to a motile aeromonad (aeromonas or hole in the side disease), the fungal disease will surely attack the open sores.

So, basically... there are many factors which can contribute to this disease.  It is suggested to research thoroughly all contributing factors before diagnosis is made.

Treatment and Control:

Forma Green is good at controlling algae, molds and fungus, but won't always work on this problem (depends on the severity).  Erythromycin would be the best for treating this problem.  Erythromycin will also kill cyanobacteria in marine tanks (red algae), and black algae Aspergillis Niger.

Fish Disease Articles


Items that can be used to treat the diseases listed in this article include:

Forma-Green

Erythromycin

 

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