Parasite of the week.

Discussion in 'Idol Marine' started by Idol Marine, 16 Jan 2015.

  1. Idol Marine

    Idol Marine

    Posts: 118
    17 Apr 2012
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    Dear Idol Marine reefers

    We welcome you back from what we hope was a well-deserved break. We hope and trust you are well rested, and waiting to get stuck into the New Year with a renewed vigour and wish you a prosperous 2015.

    We are pleased to advise all our phone lines have been restored, we apologise for any inconvenience caused. ​

    Parasite of the week​

    Flatworms on Fish
    Dactylogyrus (gill flukes)​

    These tiny worms have four eyespots and are egg-layers. They are most often found living on a fish’s gills.


    These infections start off mild, with very few symptoms. As worm populations increase, the fish will be seen flashing (twitching). The fins may become tattered, and the skin may develop a dull look. Only severe cases are fatal due to the worms themselves. Usually secondary bacterial infections are the cause of death. Rapid breathing is often the only obvious symptom of gill fluke infections. Secondary bacterial diseases are very common with this disease, and because the infection site is hidden by the fish’s gill covers, visual identification is difficult.


    Freshwater diagnostic dips are not an effective means to diagnose gill flukes. Due to their location deep in the gills, the fresh water is less effective. Because these worms are so small, when exposed to fresh water, they contort into tiny spheres of protoplasm.
    Professional aquarists will carefully snip a small gill section from a living fish and look at it under the microscope. Even then, careful examination must be made as the flukes resemble the gill lamellae of the fish.
    Another option is looking at a skin scrape under a microscope is a much better method, as the flukes can be seen moving around.
    Watch for slight twitching that indicates the presence of a gill fluke.


    As they are egg-layers, the treatment of choice is the same as for Neobenedenia sp, as mentioned in our previous newsletter and feature.

    Below is a picture of a general specimen. ​

    NO3 and tekkengal like this.
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