Skin problems in fish

Aquarium fish can be prone to a variety of skin problems. By reading up on the symptoms of these conditions, you can intervene in time and treat your fish properly. Below we highlight some of the most common skin problems in fish.

5 skin problems in fish

#1. Internal fungal infection in aquarium fish

Ichtyosporidium is an internal fungal infection that is usually only recognized at a late stage. Infected fish, then develop ulcers, red spots and cysts on the skin. In addition, they often become listless and lethargic and they develop balance problems.

What can you do with ichthyosporidium?

The disease is contagious to other fish in the aquarium, so if you notice any symptoms of ichtyosporidium, it is important to immediately isolate the infected fish and administer Trichosal. When the skin is already severely affected, treatment is unfortunately not effective in many cases.

#2. External fungal infection in fish

External fungal infections in aquarium fish are caused by fungi such as Saprolegnia and Achyla. Many fungi are always present in the water to a greater or lesser extent, but do not cause any problems unless fish are weakened by other fish diseases, injuries, stress or poor resistance. For example, minor injuries from territorial conflicts can damage the skin just enough to alter the pH of the mucosa, giving fungi a greater chance of getting a yeast infection.

What can you do with an external fungal infection?

Change the aquarium water (not all at once) and gradually increase the temperature. Treat the fish with an antifungal agent, such as Fungicell.  Feed extra vitamins and add HS Aqua Fish Guard to the aquarium water to strengthen the fish’s immune system.

#3. Red Plague or Red Stripes on the Fish

Red plague (hemorrhagic blood poisoning) is not a skin condition in itself, but an internal infection whose symptoms are visible on the skin. The disease is characterized by the appearance of red stripes on the body, tail and fins of a fish. In severe cases, red sores develop and the tail and fins can rot and even fall off.

What can you do about red plague?

Infected fish should be isolated. The aquarium should be cleaned thoroughly. It is also advised to add antibiotics (eg Trichosal) to the water.

Tip: Read all about red spots in fish.

#4. White dot or fluffy white dots on the fish

White spot is one of the most common skin problems in fish caused by the unicellular parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. This parasite penetrates the mucous membrane of the fish and anchors itself there. Fish infected with white spot can be recognized by the white, slightly bulging dots. Those dots will, if the disease is not treated, coalesce into larger gray spots. Eventually the skin will peel off, with fatal consequences.

What can you do at white spot?

Remove the infected aquarium fish from the aquarium and place them in a separate tank. It’s important that that quarantine tank doesn’t have carbon in the filter, as this will break down the medication.

Treat the infected fish with HS Aqua Ichtocell. Then you can gradually increase the temperature in the tank and change part of the water daily.

Read all about recognizing, treating and preventing a white spot

#5. Hole disease in fish

While hole-inducing disease can affect all tropical fish, cichlids, angelfish, and discus fish are the most susceptible. Again, this is not really a skin condition, but a parasitic fish disease that manifests itself in the formation of holes around the head. Without treatment, those holes will get bigger and bigger and spread throughout the rest of the body.

What can you do in case of hole-in-the-eye disease?

Change the aquarium water (again not all at once) and test the water values. Increase the water temperature (increase gradually) for one week. Treat the infected fish with an agent against internal infections, such as HS Aqua Spirocell.

Frequently asked questions about skin problems in fish

What are common skin problems in fish?

There are many common skin conditions in fish. The most common are internal and external fungal infections, Red Plague and White Spot.

How do you recognize a fungal disease?

Depending on the type of fungi you will discover them sooner or later. External fungi can be seen almost immediately, but internal fungi are discovered late.

How do you treat a fungal disease?

It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. To treat fungal diseases, change the aquarium water (not all at once) and gradually increase the temperature. Treat the fish with an anti-fungal agent, such as Fungicell.

What is the Red Plague?

Red plague is not a skin condition in itself, but an internal infection whose symptoms are visible on the skin. The disease is characterized by the appearance of red stripes on the body, tail and fins of a fish.

How do you treat Red Plague?

The Red Plague cannot be treated with drugs. However, infected fish should be isolated. The aquarium should be cleaned thoroughly. It is also advised to add antibiotics (eg Trichosal) to the water.

How do you recognize the White dot disease?

White dot disease can be recognized by the white, slightly bulging dots on fish. Those dots, if left untreated, will coalesce into larger gray patches. Eventually the skin will peel off with all the fatal consequences that entails.

How do you treat White Spot Disease?

To treat White Spot disease, remove the infected aquarium fish from the tank and place them in a separate tank. It’s important that that quarantine tank doesn’t have carbon in the filter, as this will break down the medication.

What is Hole Disease?

While Hole Disease is not really a skin condition, it manifests itself in the form of holes around the head of your fish. Without treatment, those holes will enlarge and spread throughout the rest of the body.

How do you treat Hole disease?

There is one surefire way to treat fish hole disease: change the aquarium water (not all at once) and test the water parameters. Increase the water temperature gradually over a week. Treat the infected fish with an agent against internal infections.

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