White Spot Disease


White Spot Disease, also known as Ich is a very common problem that causes your fish to get small, grain-like spots on their body.

These parasites are highly contagious and can be fatal to a fish. Killing the parasite takes persistence and can be done only when the cysts have fallen down and the parasites are released into the water.

Cause: In freshwater aquariums this disease is caused by protozoa named Ichthyophthirius Multifilis which is very contagious.

Treatment: Salt as well as malachite treatment is often combined with an increased water temperature and added aeration.

Salt treatment
Adding salt to your aquarium is a good way to get rid of the Ich parasite, provided of course that your fish species can tolerate the increased salinity. Slowly bringing the salinity to 5 ppt (parts per thousand) will nearly always kill the parasites, but may be too strong for salt intolerant fish. For sensitive species, bring the salinity no higher than 2 ppt. The high salinity should be maintained for two weeks to ensure that all the parasites are wiped out.

Malachite green treatment
Malachite green is a powerful chemical that must be accurately dosed. Some species are less tolerant to malachite green than others and it is a good idea to research your species to find out how much malachite green they can handle.

Temperature and Aeration
The use of malachite green or salt is often combined with an increased water temperature when combating White Spot Disease, sine this speeds up the life cycle of the parasite. If you decide to boost up the temperature you should ideally also provide additional aeration as warmer water contains less oxygen. The increased water temperature will simultaneously increase the metabolism of your fish, which in turn increases their need for oxygen. Since Ich parasites frequently attached themselves to the gills of fish and destroys them, it is easy to understand that an increased water temperature can be very difficult for the diseased fish to handle. Adding additional aeration and keeping the oxygen levels really high will aid them in their struggle.

There are a number of very effective treatments available on the market. Some of the most popular include:

QuickCure by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
Coppersafe by Mardel Laboratories
Super Ick Cure by Jungle Labs

If used correctly, most of these meds have a high success rate, but keep in mind that they are strong treatments that will probably kill your plants.

Malachite Green

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