Viral disease amongst fish are typicly limited to geography and more dangerous to younger fish. Often times viruses can be controlled due to their tolerance of specific temperature variations. Testing and quarantining are the best ways to prevent viruses from infecting your fish, becuase if they get infected drugs have have limited effectiveness.
How will Viruses Affect Your Fish?
Each virus, depending on the type, will affect your fish differently. Below are some of the most common viruses to look for.
Carp Pox: Carp pox is one of the oldest fish viruses. Fish that have this virus will often display lesions which are raised and they may also be milky in appearance. Although carp pox itself is benign, it can be hazardous to fish if it results in a bacterial infection. Carp pox is also a problem for koi, which are fish that are primarily sought after for their beauty. Due to the lesions caused by Carp pox, while potentially harmless, will make them unsightly in appearance.
Herpesviral Hematopoietic Necrosis: Goldfish are susceptible to a condition called Herpesviral hematopoietic necrosis, which is common among fish in the United States. Goldfish that are infected may become anorectic and display gills which are pale in appearance. The kidneys and spleen of the fish will often become enlarged, which can be deadly. Goldfish that do survive can become carriers and will only display signs of the virus whenever they become stressed.
Koi Herpesvirus: One virus which is particularly dangerous to koi and carp is koi herpesvirus. Although it is uncommon, it can spread to native wildlife therefore any confirmed cases must be reported to U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
For koi herpesvirus, the temperature of the water the fish reside in determines just how deadly the virus will be. Maximum mortality will occur at water temperatures which range from 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.At this temperature, the mortality rate of fish within the pond can range from 80 to 100 percent. Fish that have this disease will frequently swim near the surface, become red or white in appearance and develop hemorrhages.Fish that do survive koi herpesvirus can become carriers.
Symptoms of Viruses
- Lesions appear on the gills
- Fish display ascites
- Fish spleen or kidney becomes enlarged
- Fish produce excessive skin mucus
- The fish’s skin becomes dark
- Hemorrhages appear on the fish
Fitz’s Fish Ponds is the Best Fish Care Specialist to Help You Combat Viruses
Fish viruses pose a great challenge, even to those who are experienced in pond fish care. Preventing the virus from appearing among the fish in your pond is much easier than getting rid of it once it does. This is why at Fitz’s Fish Ponds, we recommend certifications for replacement stocks as well as avoidance of carrier fish through quarantine. The majority of vaccines for fish today are geared towards bacterial disease, but we can implement vaccines which are designed for fish viruses as they become available on the market. Fitz’s Fish Ponds always makes use of the most cutting edge fish and pond treatment techniques, so contact us today to learn more about the pond services we provide!