Common Names: Saprolegnia
Cloud eye
Fungal infection
Salinity: Freshwater
Description: The fungal family Saprolegnia, and related families are responsible for a whole range of afflictions. I will refer to fungal infections here inclusively, because despite the many possible fungal infections at large, from the diagnosis and treatment point of view there are so many similarities that many can be treated even if regarded collectively. Fungal infections take many shapes , symptoms include white fluff and fur on the body and any part of the eternal anatomy, to slimy patches and cloudy eyes.Fins will begin to recede in many cases, gills also , are extremely vulnerable. Patches of skin in serious infections may fall way exposing reddish wounds and bare flesh. Fungal infections can promote colour changes in most fish, from patches through to complete blanching of colour on the entire body. Saprolegnia strains are basically omnipresent in freshwater environments and can spring up in fish kept in less than adequete water conditions, often making a beeline for ammonia damaged gill tissue and dead slime layers on fish. Any fish with a reduced immune system or injury may contract a fungal infection, and fish eggs are susceptible. Corpses in the tank and uneaten foods will be a magnet for saprolegnia strains, and will radically increase the chances of fish in the same aquaria being infected. Many fungal infections are resistant to treatment, and likely to remerge if rigorous hygeine is not taken seriously. Many fungi may necessitate the fishkeeper trying a number of medications before finding one an effective treatment.Fungal infection vary widely in their potential to cause damage. Some fish live with peripheral infections all their lives while other can succumb within days, suffering all the effects of necrosis and septacaemia , as the fungus may aid the invasion of various bacterial strains into the body. Flexibacter Columnaris is often associated with fungal infections, and it may in some cases be prudent to treat the fish for both conditions. It is very difficult for the inexperienced fishkeeper to differentiate between saprolegnia and columnaris infections.
Symptoms: Spots
Treatment: A wide range of effective treatments are available for these very common infections. A typical and effective choice would be malachite green, but there are literally hundreds of "off the shelf" treatments available that contain malachite green that a fishkeeper may take advantage of. Sulphur based topical treatments and dips are also effective although they can be very hard on the fish.In mild cases, or cases caught early on , medications like pimafix are effective. Some fishkeepers kill minor infections with short salt baths. None of the saprolegnia species that infect freshwater fish can cross the osmotic barrier and are killed bu high levels of salt. Marine fish have their own fungal species.
Comments: Almost every fishkeeper will encounter the saprolegnia complex fungi at some time in the course of their hobby. Many fishkeepers keep a ready stock of medications just in case of an outbreak, as treatment is incredibly successful if administered early enough, often requiring no more than a one -off treatment. The main thing to remember is that if your "fungus" is progressing very fast indeed and the fish is not responding to antifungals, then you must remember that your fish may have contracted a Flexibacter Columnaris infection, and the course of treatment must either be changed to reflect that bacterial cause or you can treat both ailments at the same time. Meds are available that will treat both.
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Submitted By: longhairedgit
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