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Velvet (Gold Rust Disease)
Also known as ‘Rust’, it’s a common disease in aquarium fish, and has the potential to kill every inhabitant in your tank.
Caused by a species called Oödinium, it’ll find and attach itself to your fish’s skin and gills. destroying the cells and feeding off of the nutrients inside.
Once it’s done feeding, it drops off – dividing into dozens of cells.
- Fine yellow or light brown film on skin
- In advanced stages, the skin will peel off
- Clamped fins
- Scratching against hard objects
- Lethargic behavior
- Rapid and labored breathing
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Velvet disease is caused by one of several species of Oödinium and is common in poorly maintained aquariums.
Including abrupt changes in water temperature, not performing frequent water changes, adding new fish without quarantining, and the introduction of plants with cysts (new plants should be disinfected before they’re introduced).
It’s highly contagious and is usually in advanced stages before being diagnosed, so you should take action as soon as possible.
Common medications used include copper sulfate, methylene blue, formalin, malachite green, and acriflavine.
All of which can be found in common fish medications designed to combat this disease. Remember to always remove your activated carbon when medicating your tank.
Velvet parasites rely on photosynthesis for some of their energy, therefore dimming your aquariums lights or leaving your tank in total darkness can aid the treatment process.
Raising the water temperature can help speed the process. But, this tactic is not practical for all fish and may induce further stress – further weakening your fish’s immune system.modestfish