Oodyniasis or Velvet Disease

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Oodyniasis or Velvet Disease


Oodyniasis or velvet disease is the pathology that causes the greatest number of fish deaths in the aquarium. It is pointed out that there are few remedies in this particular pathology. It is generated in seawater fishes by a pathogen belonging to the Dinoflagellate family: Oodinium ocellatum.
In freshwater fish, the pathogen is Oodinium pillularis. The parasite in question affects the mucous membranes of infected fish and, therefore, can attack the skin, gills and, more rarely, the intestines. The infected fish are therefore covered with small white dots, and in the most serious cases given their high density, they appear, especially if observed against the light, covered with a sort of white and opaque powder.
Gill respiration is also accelerated and the affected fish tend to hide. The death of the fish affected by this parasite can occur within a few days if the affected host is unable to oppose the infection. With regard to remedies or treatments, it should be noted that the only method that over the years has shown a fair chance of success involves the use of cupric sulphate with a concentration of 30 mg per liter 21/30 days.
Considering that cupric sulphate is very toxic to corals and invertebrates, it is necessary to set up a special quarantine tank in which to treat the fishes to be treated. Other remedies, which however do not always give optimal results, include the use of Acriflavine or bath in hypotonic solutions (salinity 1001ppm). Recently, various experiences of some aquarists would suggest that the drug Fluconazole, an antifungal recently used to eradicate Derbesia and Bryopsis algae from aquariums, is effective in fighting Oodinium ocellatum infections. If these evidences were confirmed, it would be a great discovery for the aquarium hobby since this drug is well tolerated by corals and invertebrates and for its use, it does not need to set up special quarantine tanks.
Giuseppe Ossolengo

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