Aquarium help > Pond Help > PARASITES IN THE POND
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    Where ever there is water and fish parasites will be invariably there, fish make hosts for these parasites it is how they exist, feed and breed even healthy fish can be attacked however if fish become sick from stress or poor water conditions then parasites will soon take advantage of the situation.

    Preventative medicating is far better than waiting for a problem to arise, as is the same in maintaining water quality with the help from a seneye device.Parasites will be in various life cycle stages, adults,larval and eggs, medication may well deal with adults and larval infestations but further treating will then eradicate hatching eggs.Signs identifying fish with parasitic infestations can be rubbing them selves against a rock or some other surface, staying under fountains/water falls or lying on the bottom of the pond , isolating them selves, loss of weight and appetite, sores and lesions.

    Anchor worms, these are crustaceans with an anchor like appendage on their heads that they use to embed into their host. Care must be taken when removing with tweezers to ensure the whole parasite is removed with out breaking the head off. Juvenile anchor worm are free swimming, once adult they congregate on the gill tissues to mate, the male then dies leaving the female to bury  her self around a chosen scale where she will feed on blood and tissue. The eggs are released into the water and depending on temperature can hatch with in a two week period, warmer the water quicker the cycle.Once the adult parasite has died, usually with in three months, secondary bacterial and fungal infections can then  attack the fish. Anchor worms are dormant at low temperatures, become active when the water reaches mid 50's fareinheit and reproduce rapidly at temperatures in the mid 70's fareinheit.

    Fish lice are also crustaceans and only as adults visible to the naked eye, they are oval shaped with four pairs of legs ,the parasites are mobile moving up and down the host fish or moving onto another host. The female will leave the host to lay her eggs in the plants. The stingers on the mouth parts pierce the  flesh and allows the parasite to feed on the blood and slime.Constant movement by the parasite leaves skin red and irritated, holes are left in the slime coating which can then lead to bacterial infections.

    Chilodonella is a microscopic parasite through all stages of its life cycle and is more active in cooler water, it is round in shape and puntures and feeds on skin tissue leaving openings for bacterial infection.Effected fish will constantly rub against surfaces to try and rid them selves of this irritation causing more damage to them selves.The fish will also become lethargic often laying on their sides on the bottom of the pond.

    Costia is another microscopic parasite that can only be seen with a microscope, it uses its hair like appendages for mobility, the parasite attacks gills and skin feeding on the contents, as with all parasitic attacks it leaves the fish open to bacterial infections, the fish may also produce more skin mucous.Costia can only survive a short time in a free swimming stage, it needs a host for survival, it unfortunately can with stand a wide range of temperatures.

    Skin and gill flukes thrive in poor water conditions, two main types dactylogyrus the gill fluke and gyrodactylus the skin fluke,both microscopic, slender shape with hook like appendages. gill flukes produce eggs which are released through the gills into the pond, the larvae hatch with in a few days depending on temperature and can survive for about three days before finding a host. skin flukes deposit eggs in the uterus which hatch within about five days as live larvae who proceed to feed on the skin.

    As in all parasitic infestations, symptoms are similiar with the liklihood of further secondary problems from bacterial infections.

    Ichthyophthirius multifilis parasite, known as Ich buries under the skin causing little white bumps on skin, gills and fins, rapidly spreads to the other pond inhabitants.The nodules look like grains of salt, each nodule is a parasite feeding off your fish.Depending on temperature the parasite matures, falls off the host fish and reproduces by division , each part will  regenerate to become a complete cell, there fore reproduction under optimal conditions is rapid.The tiny parasites break out of the cysts and start looking for a host to infect.

    Trichodina is another microscopic parasite, unlike the others it does not pierce or feed off the fish's tissues, it feeds on bacteria simply using a host to settle on.The constant movements damages the protective slime coat again allowing for further infections. Trichodina is very often a result of badly maintained filtration systems, poor water quality.


    Medicating as a preventative measure far better than medicating because the need has arisen.Maintaining correct water parameters keeps the fish healthy and far more resistant to disease and parasitic infections and poor water quality also encourages parasitic infestations.

    Using a seneye protects your fish, constant monitoring so that potential problems can be avoided before becoming life threatening issues.





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