Aquarium Fish Fungal Infections: Causes and Treatment

Common Aquarium Fish Fungal Infections: Causes and Treatment

Fungal infections are amongst the most typical illness seen in tropical fish. Because fungal spores are found in all aquarium, they can rapidly colonize and develop issues in stressed, injured, or unhealthy fish. Poor water quality can likewise cause an increase in fungal infections in an otherwise healthy fish population.

Fishes and Fungal Infections

Many aquarium owners quickly recognize external fungal infections. The majority of fungal infections have a characteristic white fluffy appearance and are typically referred to as ‘cotton wool disease.’ As the fungal infections aggravate, they might take on a gray or even red look.

Common Aquarium Fish Fungal Infections: Causes and Treatment

Fortunately most fungal infections just attack the external tissues of fish and eggs. A lot of infections are usually related to a pre-existing infection or injury and this is why a two-part treatment is often essential to totally treat these infected fish. There are a couple of fungal infections that will contaminate the internal organs of fish and they will be touched on a little later.

Fungi exist throughout most aquariums, but certain conditions increase the possibility of fungal infections consisting of:

  • Poor water quality
  • Poor health
  • Dead fish or large amounts of decaying natural material in the tank
  • Fish that are hurt, old, or have other illness

Tanks with fish that have returning fungal infections have to be analyzed for tank hygiene, filtration and water quality. Healthy tanks should rarely have fish with fungal infections.

Cotton Wool Disease

‘ Cotton wool disease’ is a general term used to the most common fungal infections that contaminate the skin, fins and mouth. The fluffy white growths frequently colonize areas where there have actually been previous infections, parasites or injuries. The most common types of fungis in these infections are Saprolegnia and Achyla. Other fungis might likewise cause these infections and there might be more than one types at the site of an infection.

How to treat

Treatment for cotton wool disease consists of salt baths or the antifungal representative phenoxyethanol. In some circumstances, the whole tank is dealt with, but if specific infections are present, treating the fish in a separate hospital tank is more suitable. Specific topical application of the antifungal and antibacterial representative Gentian Violet is likewise a treatment choice.

Egg fungus

If the fish tank owner has fish that are actively reproducing, the eggs can end up being infected with a fluffy white fungal infection. The Achyla and Saprolegnia fungis are the types that cause the most problems. These fungi are present in a lot of fish tanks and will typically infect harmed, unhealthy, or infertile eggs, and the fungus can then spread to healthy eggs. Because many egg laying species secure their eggs and will choose diseased eggs, this is mostly a problem in circumstances where the parents have deserted the nest or in synthetic rearing situations.

How to treat

As soon as an egg has ended up being infected there is no practical treatment. Infected eggs need to be right away eliminated with a pipette, needle, or forceps. It is important the fish tank owner does not puzzle a healthy nontransparent egg with a fungally infected egg.

Gill rot

Gill rot is an unusual fungal infection but if it does occur, it can be fatal if not treated. An infected fish typically gasps for air and has gills that are covered with mucus and are mottled in look. The infection is typically triggered by the fungus Branchiomyces and can cause the whole gill to rot away. Infections usually occur in stressed fish that are residing in tanks with high levels of ammonia or nitrate.

How to treat

While treatment is tough and typically unsuccessful, some cases have been treated with long-term therapy of phenoxyethanol baths and increased oxygen levels. Prevention and good husbandry are essential in avoiding this disease.

Systemic fungal infections

Systemic fungal infections in exotic fish are rare and generally considered to be hard to detect and treat. As an outcome, very little is known about these conditions. A fungus that can cause systemic infections is Icthyophonus. Infected fish program generalized bad health. Diagnosis is often made just through a comprehensive post mortem evaluation. Stressed fish in poor quality water and environments are more prone to this disease.

How to treat

Some infected fish have actually been successfully treated with malachite green immersion baths.


Many fish tank owners will have to handle a fungal infection at one time or another. The majority of infections can be effectively treated if captured early. Fungal infections are notorious for establishing in unhealthy or hurt fish, particularly in poorly-cared for tanks. If you see a fungal infection in your fish, make sure to examine the water quality and insure that your tank is supplying a healthy, safe, natural surroundings for all your fish.

Also read: Saltwater or Reef Aquarium Refugiums: Pros and Cons

D. Roberts (Junior Expert)
Pet Health
Leave a Reply

  1. Reyus Mammadli

    I stopped to keep aquarium fish when they began to collapse. I tried to treat them somehow, but I could not cope with the infection in my aquarium. Sorry, insulting. Well, expensive again to start.