Velvet Disease (oodinium pillularis)

  • Description: tiny yellow or golden dots on the skin of the fish under normal or strong lighting (but almost grey to greenish color if the lighting is weak), giving the skin the appearance of velvet. The dots are much smaller than for white spot disease (about 1 mm for white spot but only 0.10 mm for velvet disease).
  • Secondary symptoms: respiratory problems (accelerated gill movements), redness and irritation. The fish sometimes rub against the tank decoration and sometimes present as scared. Possible excess skin slime coat (excess mucus in response to the threat of parasites). Sometimes, clamped fins.
  • Direct causes: protozoan.
  • Contributing factors: introduction of healthy or unhealthy fish carrying the parasite. Stress factors (poor maintenance conditions – please check your water conditions – or bad acclimatization, unsuitable food, transport). Parasite can also be introduced by plants or decoration.
  • Severity: treatment is relatively easy on the condition that it is started early enough. Very contagious: it is advisable to treat the whole tank.
  • Treatments : commercial treatments – AquaCare Anti-Parasite, Interpet Anti Parasite Slime and Velvet, JBL Oodinol, eSha Exit, Sera Oodinopur). Switching off the light is also very effective, because parasites, strange as it may sound, get part of their energy from photosynthesis (like plants). Please note that some of these medicines may kill shrimps, snails and other invertebrates.
Velvet Disease close view

Velvet Disease

Question marksIt is generally advised to temporarily and gradually increase the temperature of the tank by two to three degrees during the treatment in order to accelerate the parasite’s life cycle.
Exclamation markImportant: do not forget to remove the activated charcoal during the entire treatment (as it will absorb the medication). It can be put back in the aquarium at the end of the treatment to remove the residues.
Exclamation markImportant: Whilst all care is taken to provide accurate information on this website, Web Goldfish accepts no responsibility in the case of mis diagnosis of diseases/ incorrect treatments or any other errors made. In case of doubt, please always consult a veterinarian.