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 – 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).
It 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.
Important: 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.
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