Multicellular aquarium parasites are not only bigger than their simplest relatives, but also an order of magnitude more complex. Multicellular parasites have systems of special organs and systems: nervous, sexual, excretory, circulatory, and respiratory.
Parasitic multicellular quite often differ from similar systematic groups in which some organs can develop or disappear in cases of uselessness.
For example, larvae have larvae for swimming, with which they attach themselves to fish to fertilize females. In parasites, other organs can vigorously develop, as a result of which they acquire completely different properties that allow the parasite to live as long as possible.
It turns out that most multicellular parasites of fish are better adapted to survival than anyone else. We will talk about them today, in particular, we will analyze what kind of disease dactylogyrosis is, how it is dangerous and how it is treated.
Dactylogyrosis is a parasitic fish disease caused by a flatworm belonging to the family Dactylogyridae. Up to 160 species of these parasites were found on fish living in natural waters. The bulk falls on freshwater bodies of North America and India.
Most dactylohyrids tend to parasitize only certain types of fish. However, in the genus of these parasites there are representatives who, without a difference on whom to sit.
They are usually found in our aquariums.
Out of a hundred and fifty species of dactylohyrid in our aquariums, there are only a couple of species that prefer completely different conditions. D Vastator is considered a heat-loving parasite, preferring a temperature regime in the range of 22 to 28 degrees. Accordingly, it is most often found in tropical aquariums with tropical inhabitants.
D Extensus likes cold water (13 – 17 degrees), so if the parasite lays eggs in water that is above 20 degrees, they will not be viable. Accordingly, this dactylovirus is found in ponds with goldfish or from domestic ponds.
Depending on the species, the parasite can grow from 0.4 to 1 millimeter in length. The body of the worm is transparent in appearance, through the skin of which one can examine the internal organs.
This parasite has one peculiarity: the muscular throat immediately passes into the intestine, which passes through the whole body in two parts and merges in the back. At the front end of the worm there are two pairs of eyes, and at the back there is a special attachment disk with several large hooks.
According to the shape and size of hooks, the parasite belongs to which genus of dactylovirus.
When the parasite attaches to the back end with hooks like a surface, it starts to drive along the front end in search of a fulcrum. In general, the principle of the movement of a dactylogus resembles that of ordinary leeches. When the parasite reliably attaches to the gill covers and petals, it begins to actively lay already fertilized eggs.
The dactylogyrosis pathogens have a high fertility rate: 2 to 5 eggs per hour.
The eggs laid on the gills of the fish will wash off with water and settle on the aquarium soil, in which some time later mobile larvae will appear, which move around the aquarium with the help of special cilia. In newly hatched larvae, two pairs of eyes and an attachment dick with hooks are clearly pronounced. If the conditions for the parasite are more than appropriate, then new worms will come out of the larvae after 3 to 5 days and add another two or two days to this search to find a potential victim.
If in a few days the larva does not find a suitable fish, it will die. In order to shorten the lifespan of the larvae, otherwise dactyloguiruses increase the light intensity in the aquarium.
When the larva of the parasite is attached to the skin or gills of the fish, it will immediately reset the cilia. If the parasite is attached to the victim not on the gills, then it begins to creep toward them, where it turns into an adult worm.
And when it reaches sexual maturity, it begins to intensively release new eggs into the water and the entire life cycle of the parasite’s development repeats again.
When the parasite attaches to the gill lobes, it is due to its hooks that it invades the connective tissue of the respiratory folds. The petals affected by the dactyloguirus will turn pale with time and will mosaically stain over time.
The edges of the gill filaments become uneven, and a thick layer of mucus appears on them, which causes difficulties with gas exchange in fish.
Gas exchange is disturbed for another reason: damaged epithelium cells and connective tissue will eventually grow, petals stick together in plates and capillaries on top will be covered with impressive layers of epithelial tissue, which ultimately leads to disruption of blood supply and gas exchange.
Infected fish become extremely restless and in every way seek to move to the source of the movement of water, as a rule, their goal is the output nozzle of the filter or sprayer. Even if you turn on aeration to the maximum, then the fish will show signs of strong suffocation. The disease itself progresses rapidly: the fry first suffer, and then it moves to more adult juveniles, and after a few days all the fish are infected with parasites.
Injured areas of the body, in particular the gill covers, are open gates for all kinds of infections. If your pets are infected in acute form, they are likely to die.
If you realized it in time and started adequate treatment in time, then the fish will recover and the gills will recover.
To make a correct and more accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to take several gill arches and make a nipple the gills of an infected fish. After that, the sample must be put on a glass slide and under a low magnification of the microscope to consider the causative agents of the disease.
Treatment of sick fish should be carried out in a separate container, for which it is necessary to catch all the fish from the common can and process it. On the first day, the treatment is carried out with a 0.1% ammonia solution for 30-40 seconds.
After the procedure, the fish need to be transferred to a container with clean water, and the next day to feed the bloodworm or pipe builder (always alive). About feed for aquarium fish can read here.
On the third day of treatment, a copper sulphate solution is used based on the proportion of 1 g dry sulphate per 10 liters of water aged for 20 minutes, after which the fish should be transferred back to a container with clean water, and the next day feed it with live pipemaker or bloodworm.
On the fifth day, it is necessary to add a solution of the main purple K to the fish tank, taking into account the proportion of 0.002 grams of dry mix per 10 liters of water and keep the sick fish in this solution for three days, after providing the animals with high-quality aeration and plenty of live food. After a week of treatment, the fish can be transferred to the general aquarium.
During the treatment of fish in a separate tank, the temperature in the general aquarium should be set between 25 and 28 degrees, and a few days before the return of the fish turn on bright light. Within three days, such conditions will destroy all the hatched larvae from all the parasite eggs.
For the prevention of disease, watch out for the fish that you plant in your aquarium. Parasite eggs can get along with water, soil, aquarium plants and other decorative elements taken from natural water bodies. To protect your pets and only possible problems with their treatment, keep the purchased fish for a month in quarantine.
How to properly conduct it, you can learn from this material, and all elements of the decor should undergo a three-fold heat treatment before immersion in the aquarium. Yes, and do not use someone else’s aquarium equipment and equipment, so that there is no trouble.