While there are a variety of parasites that can adversely affect the skin of your fish, the two of the most common are the Gyrodactylus and Dactylogyrus. These small flatworms commonly infect koi, goldfish and other species commonly found in ponds. Both are types of monogenean trematodes which are derived from the Dactylogyridae family. Although these skin parasites may not cause harm to healthy fish in small amounts, if a fish is already ill or a large number of parasites attack a fish, it can be extremely dangerous.
How will Skin Parasites Affect Your Fish?
Skin parasites that appear in large numbers on fish can become extremely dangerous. An infected fish will typically display ulcers or sores within the gills or skin, and appear pale in color. Some fish may also display tiny hemorrhages. Whenever skin parasites are detected, they must be treated as soon as possible because they can be deadly when they spread.
Many skin parasites only need a single host to finish their life cycle and will use hooks to attach themselves to the fish on the fins or skin. The hooks are responsible for much of the damage that the fish sustain when they break through the skin’s surface. The fish will respond to these parasites by rubbing against the walls of the pond to get rid of the irritation they cause. The tissue damage which results from the hooks of the skin parasites can cause secondary fungal or bacterial infections, therefore it is important to treat the fish as soon as possible.
Finally, it can be exceptionally difficult to determine which parasite is affecting your fish as many of the symptoms are the same. The only way to know for certain which type of parasite is present is through a microscope. At Fitz’s Fish Ponds, we have the experience and knowledge ti help you rid your pond of these harmful parasites.
Symptoms of Skin Parasites
- Fish display frequent gill movements
- Fish become lethargic and less active
- Fish stop eating
- The skin of the fish displays a milky look
- Fish frequently rub against objects
- Fish display ulcers or sores
Fitz’s Fish Ponds is the Best Fish Care Specialist to Help You Combat Skin Parasites
At Fitz’s Fish Ponds, we treat skin parasites by prescribing medicated water which includes praziquantel and formalin. Since the quality of your fish’s environment plays a crucial role in their ability to fight off infections resulting from skin parasites, we will also clean and sanitize your pond, as well as ensure that any new fish that are added are properly quarantined. .
Skin parasites are not something a pond owner should try to treat on their own. Many pond owners attempt to use use salt to combat skin parasites, and while salt is certainly effective, there are certain complications with using it improperly. It can kill your plants if used in conjunction with zeolite filters it will emit ammonia and nitrites into the water. Salt should only be used on fish individually.
Contact us today to learn more about our pond fish care services!