How to Cure Fungus on Aquarium Fish
If your fish has a white- or gray-colored growth on its mouth or body (often with a fluffy texture like cotton), it could have a fungal infection. Fungal infections can be caused by poor water quality or stress. They can quickly lead to secondary diseases so it is crucial to take action immediately. This article will discuss both how to treat fungus and how to prevent it from returning.
When you see any symptoms of illness, the first thing we always recommend is a thorough cleaning of the aquarium. Before we begin treatment, we want to ensure that the environment of the fish is healthy and free from stress. You can see the condition of your fish by cleaning the glass. Then, you can use a siphon and vacuum the substrate to change the water. For a step by step guide on cleaning an aquarium, see this article.
Fungus can often be prevented. The next step is to determine the source of the infection. There’s no point in treating the fish if we don’t stop the source of the problem because then the fungus may come back again in full force.
What causes fungus in fish?
Poor water conditions are a common cause of fungal infections. This is why we see so many betta fish suffering from this disease. They are often kept in small containers that have no heaters or filters. Bettas thrive at temperatures of 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, so they will need a heater to keep them warm in rooms that are below this temperature. Also, it helps to house them in an aquarium that holds at least 5 gallons or more to prevent their waste from quickly fouling the water. Regular water changes, especially floating ones, are good ways to get rid of toxic waste before it affects your betta’s well-being.
Fish can also get fungus from nutrient deficiencies. To be healthy, fish, just like humans, require a balanced diet. It’s like giving fish the same flakes daily. They can survive, but they are unlikely to be in top shape. You should ensure that your pets have access to a variety of food so they can get all the nutrients they need and that you provide them with high-quality, fresh foods. Although the expiration date may indicate that the food will be good for three more years, air and moisture can get into the containers, which can cause the food to go bad in just a few months. Splitting the fish into smaller bags can help preserve freshness. Avoid using your fingers to lift food from the container. This can cause mold and other diseases.
To ensure that your fish get the essential nutrients they need to improve their immune system, eat a wide variety of high-quality food.
Many livebearers, including fancy guppies or mollies, get fungal infections very quickly after being brought home from the pet shop. This article will explain why aquarium fish that are not as hardy are becoming more common. Therefore, it is more cost-effective to raise them in both fresh and saltwater. Your guppies who have been raised in brackish waters for most of their lives, and then suddenly move to a pure freshwater environment, are often in a weak state. This makes them more susceptible to foreign pathogens such as fungus spores.
The bottom line is to try to eliminate stress as much as possible. Reduce bullying and aggression in African cichlids. Keep the gravel clean for bottom dwellers and the water quality for sensitive species high. Avoid keeping shy fish near bright TVs, bright lights, moving shadows, and high-traffic areas of your home. If your older animals have weaker immune system, you might consider moving them into a retirement tank with less activity and more competition.
How Do You Get Rid of Fungus on Fish?
Maracyn can be used to treat fungus or rot in the mouth of fish. Certain bacterial infections (such as columnaris) look like cottony growths or grayish-white patches around the mouth and thus should be treated with an antibiotic. Clean the aquarium thoroughly and get rid of any chemical filtration such as activated carbon or Purigen. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions by using 1 packet for every 10 gallons of water, and then repeat every 24 hours for five days. The infection may still be present even if symptoms disappear.
If the fungus is located elsewhere on the fish’s body, use a combination of Maracyn and Ich-X. Ich-X is a combination of formaldehyde and methanol that are effective against fungal infections. Clean the aquarium thoroughly and get rid of any chemical filtration before you start treatment. If the fungal infection is minor, dose 1 packet of Maracyn and 1 tsp of Ich-X per 10 gallons of water at the same time. Allow it to soak for a full week. Once the symptoms have disappeared, you can repeat this process. You can use 1 packet Maracyn with 1 tsp Ich-X for 10 gallons of clean water. Repeat the process every 24 hours for five days.
Salt is a great treatment for both body and mouth fungus. While any regular salt made from sodium chloride (NaCl) can be used, this article will use aquarium salt or rock salt. We are not talking about marine salt or Epsom salt.
Salt has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. We’ve found that most tetras can tolerate salt. Other fish, such as anchor catfish, are extremely sensitive to salt so they should not be exposed. You can make sure that your fish are able to withstand the salt treatment by using a low salt concentration, 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons. After one week, the fish should be completely healed. If not, you can gradually reduce the salt by making weekly 30% water changes. You will need to increase salt concentration if the fungus remains active. For detailed instructions on how to do this, please continue reading our full article on salt dosing. To give the fungus a tough one-two punch, salt can be used in combination with Ich-X.
Are there any other fungal remedies that work?
We have found that herbal remedies are not effective against fungal infection. Once the disease takes hold of a fish, they need stronger medications for a better chance of saving their lives. After many years of running a fish store and helping hundreds of customers, Maracyn, Ich-X, and salt are the treatments we have found that work best against fish fungus.
Although fungal spores will always be present in our aquariums eventually, they can usually be prevented from becoming serious infections. You can boost your fish’s health by providing them with the proper nutrients and stress-free environment.
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