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VELVET (gold dust disease)

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WHAT IS IT
Velvet disease, Rust, Oödinium or gold dust disease is a fish disease caused by Oödinium pilularis or Oödinium limneticum
Oödinium is a dinoflagellate, a creature classified by some as a protozoan and by others as algae because it contains Chlorophyll.

The single-celled parasite's life cycle can be divided into three major phases.
First, the parasite rests at the water's floor and divides into as many as 256 tomites.
Second, these juvenile, motile tomites swim about in search of a fish host, using photosynthesis to grow, and to fuel their search.
Finally, the tomite finds and enters the slime coat of a host fish, dissolving and consuming the host's cells, and needing only three days to reach full maturity before detaching to become a tomont once more

Velvet is usually spread by contaminated tanks, fish, and tools (such as nets or testing supplies).
There are also reports of frozen live foods containing dormant forms of the species.
The parasite is usually present in the tank and only causes a noticeable "outbreak" after the fish's immune system is compromised for some other reason. (poor water quality, tank instability, otehr disease outbreak etc)
The disease is highly contagious and can prove fatal to fish.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
infected fish:
flash
clamp
lethargy
'dusting' of particles (parasites) all over fish. ranging in color from brown to gold to green.
difficulty respirating

refuse food
death

TREATMENT

Salt is believed to help either as a strong bath or a water additive (5ml per 10L)
medications like copper sulfate, meth blue, formalin and acriflavin
because Velvet parasites derive a portion of their energy from photosynthesis leaving a tank in total darkness for days will help (and may also extend the Efficacy/life of some medications)
(Remove carbon from filter if using meds)
increase airation (reduce stress on fish)
Raising the water temperature (quickens the life cycle (and death) of Velvet) however this is not practical for all fish

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here's some pics.

ScreenShot2014-03-03at93854PM_zps8053c44

ScreenShot2014-03-03at93920PM_zpsa7e548e

ScreenShot2014-03-03at93914PM_zpsc60d840

we did cull this boy he also seemed to have a facial tumour quite severly so we decided it was for the best.
then thoroughly bleached his beanie

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