Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong with fish farming. Many of the costliest problems are disease.
Fungal diseases are some of the most common examples you can come across. Anyone can experience a Fungus outbreak in their aquarium, from the novice to the seasoned aquarist.
It is important to know all diseases so that you know how to treat and possibly prevent them. This will give your fish the best chance of survival if it gets sick.
There are many different types of fungus in fish, each with its own causes, symptoms, and treatments. It can be very confusing when you think you have discovered a disease in your aquarium.
We have put together a detailed guide to Aquarium Fungus. We cover everything you need to know, including what it really is, what causes fungal diseases, what types of diseases and how to treat them, and much more …
What is a Fungus?
Fungus is a large group of organisms. They are often harmful for plants, but they form a completely separate group. In fact, fungi are their own kingdom in taxonomic classifications.
Fungi do not photosynthesize like plants do; They consume food by absorbing dissolved molecules. To do this, they secrete digestive enzymes.
Most are incredibly small; Some are even single-celled. The three main groups are multicellular filamentous molds, macroscopic filamentous fungi (fungi), and microscopic single-celled yeasts.
The subdivisions of fungi are mainly based on their life cycle, structure and type of spores. Spores are a reproductive unit that fungi use to spread to new areas.
There are around 120,000 species of fungi, but little is known about their biodiversity. Some scientists estimate that there could be up to 3.8 million species.
Many species are very hardy, allowing them to live in extreme habitats that are often sterile. This includes deserts, deep seas, and areas with high salinity or ionizing radiation.
Most species are terrestrial, but some spend all or part of their life in water. These are the Funguss that you might come across as a hobbyist.
It is more common for the species to develop as structures called hyphae, which are wire-shaped and can reach several inches in length. New hyphae are developed from existing hyphae to create a branching effect .
This structure maximizes the surface / volume ratio of the body.
Fungi play an important role in natural ecosystems. They are generally the main decomposers of a food web. They break down organic matter, which is an essential part of most nutrient cycles.
However, they can cause health problems for your fish in an aquarium. It is important to understand this kingdom of organisms so that you can help your fish if they suffer from fungal diseases.
Causes Of Fungal Diseases
Potentially harmful fungal spores are always present in aquariums, but they generally go unnoticed because they do not cause any harmful effects.
These fungi can become a problem in two ways: poor water quality or unhealthy fish.
Poor water quality facilitates rapid colonization of fungal spores. However, the poor conditions of your aquarium make it a breeding ground for all pathogens, not just fungi. This is one of the reasons it is important to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.
Unhealthy fish are at a higher risk of developing a fungal infection due to a weakened immune system. For this reason, fungal diseases are usually secondary to another health problem.
Even a stressed fish is less able to fight disease.
People with open wounds are the most likely to be affected. Physical injuries are usually the result of fighting, but can also result from handling tights, parasitic infections, or ulcers due to bacterial infections.
While some species of fungi are always present in your aquarium, other species can be added as you introduce new fish or used equipment.
This makes quarantine a useful prevention method, which we’ll cover later.
Common Fungal Diseases
Aquarium pathogens come in many forms, but fungal diseases are among the most common.
There are many different species that will present themselves differently on your fish. Some only affect certain species, while others can be a problem for virtually any fish.
Take the time to monitor your fish regularly. Look for signs that may suggest illness. The earlier you find the disease, the faster you can act and the more likely your fish will survive.
Here we describe some of the most common fungal diseases for aquarists.
How To Remove Fungus From Aquarium Fish
We have mentioned some ways to treat certain diseases, but there are several ways to increase your chances of success.
Spend some time each day observing your fish for the most common signs of a fungal disease. By doing this regularly, you can catch the problem early on.
The earlier you have the disease, the sooner you can treat it, which means that the treatment has a better chance of success.
You probably keep an eye on your fish every day anyway (that’s probably why you have them in the first place), so you shouldn’t add too much time to your daily routine.
If you only see the disease in one of your fish, separate them as soon as possible if you can. Treat it in isolation to reduce the chances of spreading the fungus to other fish.
Antifungal medications are generally the recommended solutions for many fungal diseases such as cotton. Treatments are often both antibacterial and antifungal.
Some fungi require specific treatments for each species. Therefore, always thoroughly investigate suspected disease before attempting to eradicate it.
Different treatments can take different periods of time to work. Some may be difficult to access; You may even need to see a vet.
Ideally, you never want to experience yeast infections. Therefore, preventing these infections should be your top priority.
How To Get Rid Of Fungus From Aquarium Fish?
There is no guarantee that fish will survive a fungal disease with treatment. There are several things you can do to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak in your aquarium.
We mentioned earlier that an unhealthy environment allows pathogens to thrive and works very well in poor conditions. If you take good care of your aquarium, it will be much more difficult for fungi to infect your fish.
You need to know how to clean your tank . To do this, partial water changes must be carried out regularly and excess algae must be cleaned.
Use a water test kit every week. This will help you keep track of the water chemistry. If the settings are not as they are as they should be, you can correct them before the fish get sick.
Pathogens like fungi can enter an aquarium when you introduce new fish or used equipment to your aquarium. Quarantine can help prevent this from happening.
Keeping new fish in a separate tank for a time will allow you to monitor them over time for signs of disease. They can then be added to your main tank once you are sure they are disease free.
When buying new fish from a store, check the inventory for signs of disease. If you experience symptoms, shop elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of diseases can I find?
Many organisms wait for the opportunity to attack a fish. They can be divided into different groups, each of which requires a slightly different treatment and aftercare approach. These are: fungal diseases, bacterial diseases and parasitic infections.
What are the signs of a fungal disease?
The spores of various fungi are always present in an aquarium. Generally, a fungus does not attack a healthy fish, because the mucus that covers the fish prevents infection.
However, if a fish is injured by striking a pointed object, roughly handling it, or being attacked by another fish, or is stressed due to a bad environment, the fungus can take advantage and stick to it. Once the fungus has overcome the fish’s natural defenses, it will spread and further weaken the fish if left untreated.
How can I recognize fungi on my fish?
The fungus (see photo above) is often referred to as “cottonseed disease”. This is because the fungus looks exactly like cotton attached to fish. It can vary slightly in color from almost white to gray, it even appears green when the algae are also underneath. While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, it actually is. Under the cotton, the fungus corrodes the fish tissues, so it is essential to treat it quickly.