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White Spot Disease in Tropical Fish – Ichthyophthirius Multifilis (Ich)

Ich causes fish to get small white 1mm spots all over their body, fins and tail. The disease is caused by the protozoa Ichthyophthirius and is extremely contagious. It causes infected tropical fish to itch and they will try to rub themselves any course surfaces in the aquarium particularly gravel to relieve the itch, this is also known as flashing.

Signs of white spot
Signs of white spot

White Spot in Tropical Fish

The main cause of Ich is stress. If you notice an aggressive fish which like to chase others remove it at once from the tank into a separate hold until it has calmed down as this causes the most stress to other fish. The protozoan ectoparasite of Ich spends a part of its life inside cysts on the fish’s body. Once the cysts mature break open and give rise to thousands of new free-swimming parasites that are free to prey upon other fish. Killing the parasites can only be done when the cysts have completely broken down and they are released into the water entirely.

One way of speeding up the release of the parasites from the cysts is to increase the temperature of the water as this increases the protozoan life cycle. The only problem with increasing the temperature of the water is that the higher the temperature of the water the less oxygen is available in the fish tank therefore it may be wise to add an airstone and do more regular water changes. The water temperature will be dependant on what fish are present but no more than 30 degree celcius for tropical fish.

I recommend using Interpets Anti White Spot solution as soon as any symptoms are displayed.

Have a look at our other articles on Tropical Fish Diseases

White Spot (Ich)

Fin Rot

Columnaris

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