Discus Fish Diseases – Cure & Prevention
Fish live in water. When the water is not kept clean or treated correctly it can become a breeding ground for innumerable pathogens that can cause various diseases in fish. Diseases in Discus is quite common however when certain precautionary measures are employed, the risk of your Discus fish acquiring diseases can be reduced to a great extent.
- Provide the fish with enough space in the fish tank, taking care not to overcrowd them. Make sure the tank is not too small.
- Clean the water frequently and regularly check the temperature, pH levels, and quality of the water. Provide the fish with a nutritious diet taking care not to over feed them.
- Ensure that the fish is not disturbed or too stressed. Be careful when selecting tank mates, and choose the kinds that are not known to dominate Discus fish. Do not allow visitors to tap at the tank glass as this can lead them to become aggressive. When the fish is stressed the functional levels of the immune system decreases.
The types of diseases that can affect Discus are:
- Hole in the head disease is known to affect both marine and freshwater fish and is especially common in Discus fish. The disease usually starts as a tiny pimple formation on the head area and as it progresses, they appear like large sores causing lesions in the epithelium. Metronidazole is the choice of drug to treat this disease condition. Remove food from the freezer, allow some time to thaw, and then mix 1 tsp of Metronidazole per pound of food. Return food back to freezer and feed your fish with the frozen food once a day for a minimum of 10 days. Do not feed any other food variety to your fish during this period.
- If the fish becomes too thin or excretes a white-jelly like substance it can be assumed that it is infected with internal parasites. If the fish is still eating, soak some live blood worms in a mixture of 200 mL water combined with 10 mL of liquid Flagyl for about an hour. Feed the fish with this for 10 days. When the fish is not eating, take the fish out and inject the solution down the fish’s throat with the help of a syringe, making sure that the liquid has been swallowed before returning it to the water. However, this is often not successful.
- Gill fluke can be life threatening to the Discus fish since its weak immune system often responds slow to treatment. It is best to prevent the fish from acquiring this illness than attempt to cure it. The condition arises when external parasites destroy the gills. Gill fluke causes rapid heavy breathing, erratic swimming in the fish and in advanced stages it will collapse with an inability to swim. Treat with Formalin 1 mL per 10 gallons of water with 50 percent water change after 8 hours.
- White spot and velvet disease rarely occur in Discus since the high water temperature is an unfavorable environment for the microorganisms to survive. If and when it does occur the best option would be to slightly increase the temperature and by day 4 the organisms causing this disease would have succumbed to the heat treatment.
- Epsom salt treatment is recommended for gastrointestinal bloating in Discus fish. Use 1 tbsp per 10 gallons of water and repeat for 2 more days for better results. This treatment usually works within 24 hours providing beneficial results.
Treatment takes time to bring out the desired results. Do not mix medicines or change doses without consulting your vet. When in doubt seek advice from a qualified expert for proper care of your sick Discus.
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