Ich; Costia; Chilodonella; Epistylus; Trichodina
Early warning signs include loss of appetite and listlessness. Fish will scratch or flash on the sides of pond or other objects. As the disease progresses the fish may congregate near the waterfall or appear to gasp for air. The protozoan usually invades the gills first and then spreads to the rest of the body. Look closely on the lens of the eye or clear parts of the fins for cloudiness and/or white pin head size spots.
The fish may produce extra mucous in an attempt to protect itself; don?t confuse this with columnaris bacterial infection. Red blood shot veins may also be evident as the fish?s system tries to deal with the disease. Determine difference between protozoan infestations and crustacean/fluke infections, medications are specific.
Poor water quality, temperature fluctuations and excessive handling all contribute to protozoan epizootics. The life cycles of protozoans are temperature dependent. A life cycle may last 2 months in cold winter weather or 2 days in 80º summer water temperatures. These pathogens are most prevalent during spring and summer but can occur any time stress weakens the fish. Protozoans are ubiquitous in the pond environment and are kept under control with clean conditions and stable temperatures. Frequent backwashing can reduce population. All new fish are a potential source for an outbreak of disease and should be quarantined or keenly scrutinized.
A complete treatment program will require four applications of the correct dose of PARACIDE GREEN. When temperature is around 22° Celsius (72° F), treat once every three days for a total treatment time of twelve days. When temperatures are near 18 ° Celsius (64° F), treatments will be about five days apart and take 20 days total. Below 10° Celsius (50° F), the life cycle will be so long that treatment is not practical. Keep the pond and filter clean and wait for the temperatures to warm up since the fish are not likely to be in danger with a slight infestation.
ONLY THE FREE SWIMMING STAGE
OF THE PARASITE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO TREATMENT.
This is the reason for 4 successive treatments. If the fish is heavily parasitized you may not see any remission of the disease until after the second or third treatment simply because the medication does not kill the infectious stage on the fish. If you use the correct method and dose of malachite/formalin and the fish do not respond within 3 to 5 days, you may have misdiagnosed the parasite. Try the Trichlorfon treatment for crustaceans and flukes.
Early treatment is important. Fish which are obviously weak and heavily parasitized may not survive. However, a FORMALIN BATH may help to kill the infectious stage. Use 37% formaldehyde (formalin) at a concentration of 200ppm for 50 mins. as a bath in a separate container. Aerate this bath water vigorously for 10-15 mins. prior to immersing the fish and aerate during treatment. Remove the fish if he shows signs of distress. More than one daily treatment may be necessary.
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT TRICHODINA
This spherical protozoan is acquiring immunity to the standard treatments. Your fish may be infected with Trichodina if they do not respond to standard treatments. Confirm that it is Trichodina using a microscope and a scraping from your fish. Try using Clout or Maracide as these are effective. A 200 PPM Formalin bath for 45 minutes may be effective. Alternatively a 2.0% (5 tablespoons per gallon) salt bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Salt in the pond up to a 0.5% (4# per 100 gallons) will help your fish feel stronger but may not eradicate the disease. Do not exceed a 0.25% solution of salt in the pond if you have plants in your pond.