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Saprolegnia, Achlya, White fungus

Type: Phycomycetes, Saprolegniacea

Symptoms: Parts of the body and or fins of the fish are infected. Usually the disease starts at the fins, and from there extends over the body. If the gills are infected the fish usually die of suffocation. The disease mostly exhibits itself as a greyish white scum. Eggs are also infected by these funghi if not fertilized or weakened.

Description: Both saprolegnia and achlya are ectoparasitic funghi. Two other known funghi are endoparasitic and are described in their own section, Ichthyosporidium and Branchiomyces. They usually occur sympatrically with other diseases, or infect the fish after its been weakened by another disease. The fish in the top picture has a primary Ick infection, which was followed by the fungus.

Infections: Both funghi are always present in tanks, but usually cannot infect fish. Only weakened fish are susceptible to fungus attacks. If a fish is infected with fungus, always look for the primary cause. The combination of fungus with another disease can be very contagious, and sometimes difficult to treat.

Treatments:

- Saltwatertreatment;

Temperature: During all treatment it is advisable to raise the temperature to 30 degrees, if the fish can stand it.

Feeding: The fish can be fed during the treatment, but only small amounts of food that are eaten immediately.

Quarantine period for new fish, and for treated fish: 6 days

Additional:

Picture references: E. naus

References:Sterba, G. et al.(1981): Encyclopedie van de Aquaristiek en de Ichtyologie. H. J. W. Becht's Uitgeversmaatschappij bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Innes, W. T.(1936): The complete aquarium book. Halcyon house, New York, U.S.A..

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