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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Velvet: The Fish Disease You Need To Know About

Although we wish for the best when it comes to our fish, parasites can infect the fish in your aquarium. It is very important that you know about diseases so that you can diagnose and treat fish as soon as possible.
Velvet is one of those diseases you should know about.
*Velvet is also known as Gold Dust Disease or Rust
Velvet, although sounding like a soft material, is a parasite that affects the skin/scales of a fish and can be fatal.
    Some of the symptoms of velvet include:
  • - Scratching against hard surfaces

  • - Has a similar appearance to ich spots but has a grayish or golden tint to it. Also, the spots are much smaller and finer giving the appearance of super slimy scales.
  • - Fins can appear clamped
  • - Rapid breathing
  • - Abnormal fish behavior
  • - Fish may lose appetite

Velvet may be caused by poor water conditions such as high or low ammonia, nitrites, and/or nitrates. Stressed out fish easily contract this disease as well. Velvet is contagious and can spread to other fish that are in the aquarium. If this disease is caught early on, it may be treatable.
    Treatment includes:
  • - Increase the water temperature to 82°F to kill off the parasite.
  • - Add aquarium salt
    Do Not use aquarium salt in an aquarium that has scaleless fish as it may worsen the condition.
  • - Use copper sulphate as directed on the medication bottle. A medication such as Copper Safe should be used with caution. It is important to follow the directions on the bottle so that you don't overdose or underdose the sick fish.

Again, It is very important to catch this disease early on. The quicker you notice that there is something wrong with your fish, the better.
If you would like to some tips on how to prevent disease from occurring, please check out:

Easy Ways To Tell Your Aquarium Has A Problem

What Aquarium Duties Do I Need To Do

Why Do I Need An API MAster Test Kit

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