What are flukes? These are tiny white parasites similar to worms
Symptoms of flukes
Look for these signs:
- clamped fins occur early
- isolation and redness of skin
- refusal to eat food
- rubbing against the surface
- split fins may signify a fluke infestation in the aquarium
- appearance of mucus on gills
- quick breathing
- bloated body
- blood streaked fins
- eyes bulging
Untreated flukes can also result in bacterial gill infection and disable oxygen processing through the gills. Flukes transmit an awful bacteria and drill holes into the skin of your fish. This may cause ulcer diseases.
There are 2 types of flukes: skin and gill flukes also known as monogenea and flukes that reside inside fish known as Trematodes. It’s easy to identify monogenea flukes. They normally attach around the gills of your fish using two hooks and a sucker. After attaching they continually feed on your goldfish skin cells.
Flukes increase quickly and two interval treatments are recommended that normally take 4 to 7 days. This ensures treatment of new flukes born after the adults are killed. There are various treatment options including: PraziPro, prazi pond (Praziquentel), anti-fluke or fluke tabs.
Flukes can spread to your pond through another fish or plant carrying the eggs of the fluke.
Prazi pond is best used when cold as it works in low temperature, although it can still work in summer. It can also destroy internal flukes. PraziProFluke tabs are recommended for quarantine tanks. One tab is able to treat 10 gallons.
Salt treatment can be combined with any treatment described above as it supports formation of the natural protective slime layer of the fish and doesn’t interfere with treatment. In case of using chlorinated water make sure you have a de-chlorinator.
It’s essential to treat all new goldfish prior to bringing them to your aquarium.
To prevent new occurrences of fluke infections you may be required to treat any fresh plants or goldfish. Quarantine intervals should be at least 1 month. Consult your dealer on whether the fish you purchase are quarantined. It’s recommended to avoid adding new goldfish once you establish a healthy fish community.
Flukes can also be caused by deficient water conditions or congestion.
Clear does not imply clean!
Perform water changes regularly to reduce infection problems and the incidence of Flukes in your tank. Additionally, make sure your tank is not congested so it allows for healthy fish growth.
In my opinion, Flukes are probably the worst parasite infection because they cause so much damage.
In most instances, unfortunately, you’ll notice flukes after your fish have died in large numbers. Therefore it’s very important to be able to make a fish disease diagnosis in the early stages of a goldfish showing signs of illness. A microscope may help to observe signs of infection.