Parasite Identification Part 1


Let’s dive into the world of parasites which exist and can become the pest of your aquarium or pond, we will discuss identifying the parasites and the best treatments to combat these little devils.

White spot (ICH)

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis more commonly known as ICH or white spot is probably one of the most common parasites we see because this is visible without a microscope. So, any livestock which may have white spot looks almost as though they have been sprinkled with fine sand/salt, did you know this isn’t the actual parasite this is just the egg (cyst) however, under the microscope looks a little more discreet as pictured.

What causes white spot is a regular question asked, white spot is brought on by stress so having a heavily planted aquarium reduces stress levels as there are plenty of hiding places for your livestock to escape the cause of their stress. There are natural remedies such as increasing the temperatures of the environment and/or aquariums salts, my personal choice of treatment for white spot would be Esha Exit this is a very effective treatments however there is a broad range of treatments available I have inserted the links below;


In ponds having lots of floating plants and marginals will also help to create escapes from the heat, direct sunlight or potential threats (herons etc.) With pond fish the quickest solution and best treatment in my opinion would be NT Labs FMG mixture however there are again a vast variety below I have listed a couple;


Skin Flukes (Gyrodactylus salaris)

Gyrodactylus salaris another very common parasite better known as skin flukes, this parasite is not visible to the naked eye. This parasite anchors itself to the host, skin flukes are livebearers and are hermaphrodites meaning the reproduction rate is rapid, they are always carrying young which can also reproduce. What are the best treatments available to rid these pests, for aquariums we recommend Waterlife Sterazin, other treatments we reccomend can be found below;

In ponds there are treatments listed below which have been extremely effective;


Also available is a new product called Cloverleaf Absolute Parasite

These are just a couple of examples of what are available to target and eliminate these parasites. It’s always worth bearing in mind these parasites reproduce at such a rate that a second dose is almost always advisable to eliminate them. These parasites feed on the mucus and blood of their host and cause irritation to the host this can cause wounds on the body of the livestock.


Oodinium (velvet)

Oodinium is a parasite more commonly found in marine aquariums, this is something which is visible as what looks like a velvet coating over the hosts body. However once attached it branches its roots deep into the fish and feeds directly. Obvious signs to watch for with this parasite would be laboured breathing, flared gills and irritation (flashing) on rocks or other objects.


As with white spot Oodinium can be caused by stress however unlike white spot this parasite takes a hold on the fish and can get into the lungs and feeds directly from the livestock. There are various types of treatment for this parasite I will name a few below;


This is only a very brief description of each parasite to give you a glimpse, they each have life cycles which should be taken into account when using any form of treatments, Keep your eyes peeled for more parasite ID soon…