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Velvet Disease (Oodinium)

This article was worked on by our good friend Nads, this took a lot of her time up to sort it out which will help our members time and time again. Thanks to Nads for this.

Moderators: Nads, Ray, iwade4fish, Super Turtleman

PostAuthor: Nads » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:48

Velvet disease has many names including the following;

- Freshwater Velvet
- Oodinium
- Gold-dust Disease
- Rust Disease

Velvet is the parasitic stage of the life-cycle for the protozoan Piscinoodinium. (Full life-cycle detailed below)


Symptoms

- Flashing and flicking
- Clamped fins
- Shimmying
- Excess mucus
- Fish may appear covered in gold dust or have a velvety coating on the skin.


Cause

Protozoan Piscinoodinium


Transmission

See life cycle detailed below


Treatment

Velvet is only treatable during the free swimming stage of it's life-cycle and treatment should continue as directed even after the spots have vanished to ensure that the disease has been effectively dealt with.

Treatments for velvet can be purchased form your local fish store.

Keeping the aquarium dark (by covering) will also help as it prevents the photosynthesis required by the free swimming parasites. However this should only be used along-side medication.


Life-Cycle of Piscoodinium

1. Parasitic stage (trophont) attached to the skin of the fish.

2. Trophont leaves fish

3. Reproductive stage (tomont or "cyst")

4. Cyst releases up to 250 infective stages

5. Infective stage (dinosphere) is free swimming in the water in search of a new host. (It is during this stage that the protozoan is vulnerable to treatments)
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