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Hexamitosis: photos, symptoms and how to treat in the general aquarium

Dear colleagues. I apologize for the fact that I began to write to the blog less often; I transferred to another job that takes a lot of time. You have to write when there is an opportunity, so please do not be angry at me.

In today’s voluminous material we will talk with you about the invasive disease of aquarium fish called Hexamitosis.

The cause of this invasive disease in aquarium fish is a pathogen-flagellate. The body of the parasite is teardrop-shaped and when it enters the gallbladder or intestines of the fish, it provokes the appearance of a sore.

The parasite multiplies by dividing and can form a mass of cysts, even if it is in an inactive state. With a long stay of parasites in the intestines of the fish, it matures and goes into the aquarium environment along with the feces, which is dangerous for all inhabitants of the aquarium.

If you suspect that your fish may have hexamitosis, you must urgently place them in quarantine and take preventive measures in the general aquarium so that other aquarium fish do not get sick. The most vulnerable candidates to catch a sore if it appears in an aquarium are American and African cichlids.

But this does not mean that other fish can not catch flagellates, they are often in an inactive state.

In addition, there is a high risk of damage to the hexamitosis of Lalius, kissing and other types of gourami, as well as other labyrinth ones. However, as observations have shown, not all species of fish are susceptible to the disease, they are commonplace carriers of infection.

The main reason is that there may be no suitable conditions for the reproduction of the flagellate. Goldfish, koi carps and clowns fight very often with hexamytosis.

It is also possible to attribute macrognatus, catfish, eels, mastacebelus, pymelodus and blue neons to unfortunate people.

If there are inactive pathogens of the sore in your tank, and you have not provided the correct diet for the fish, this can cause the development of vitamin deficiency in the fish. In addition, excessive feeding of fish with meat and a high concentration of nitrite can also provoke the development of hexamytosis. The disease inflicts the greatest damage to the digestive system of the fish, to be more precise, it ruins it completely, which later leads to a metabolic disorder.

In the later stages of the disease, the organism infected fish is no longer able to absorb vitamins, trace elements, fats and proteins. If the parasite enters the abdominal cavity and into the blood, the death for a sick fish is only a matter of time.

  • At the beginning of the development of hexamytosis, the symptoms are almost invisible, the fish have a slightly reduced appetite. Sometimes you can see a picture when a fish tries to capture food with its mouth, and then spits it out. This procedure can last a long time. If you notice one, then your pet has an easy stage of infection. In case you do not take any measures, the disease will expand and the fish will completely refuse food. In times of high demand for discus, many aquarists blamed this behavior on the choosiness of discus in food. And the reason was much more serious.
  • Infected fish prefer to keep apart and they have a darkening of color;
  • Another symptom of the defeat of the fish with hexamitosis is the threadlike, viscous mucous discharge of white color. The fact is that during this period the diseases are actively rejected by intestinal cells, which in large doses come out with a large amount of mucus from the body. In some cases, the disease can cause indigestion, which leads to the fact that along with excrement goes almost undigested food;
  • In rare cases, cichlids and apistograms can show abdominal distention. But in most cases, the disease proceeds with deformation of the back and abdomen, loss of body weight;
  • On the side line of the fish appear deep ulcers that pass to the head. In extremely rare cases, deep holes appear in the body of the fish, from which a white liquid is released.

I would also like to warn you that not in every case all the symptoms appear in full with the same sequence. In some cases, filamentous white discharge may be the result of enteritis, poisoning, inflammation of the intestine and helminthiasis.

But you shouldn’t play with it, it’s better to immediately put the fish in quarantine before finding out the reasons. If you watch every day the behavior and condition of the inhabitants of your aquarium, you will be able to detect possible problems in a timely manner and begin to eliminate it as soon as possible.

If you notice a long train of white color, which stretches behind an aquarium fish and which does not separate from the fish for a long time, then most likely the fish is struck by flagellates.

Today, aquarists know only a few ways how to cure hexamytosis in fish. Which method to use depends on the circumstances, and how effective the treatment will be depends on the reasons that provoked the infestation of aquarium inhabitants by parasites. Hexamytosis is often accompanied by the development of hole disease.

Because of the intensive reproduction of flagellates in the intestines of the fish, hexamitosis is often accompanied by viral infections. For this reason, it is impossible to make any predictions and results.

You must take into account that different protozoa are treated with different drugs, because one species can be resistant to one medicine, another to another, and so on. The main thing is not to despair if the first method did not help you in any way, then proceed to the implementation of the next one.

In some cases, it is necessary to combine two and three methods to get the desired result.

As with the treatment of most diseases of aquarium fish, the first thing to do after landing the fish on quarantine is to conduct hyperthermal treatment. The fact is that high temperature adversely affects most types of flagellat. Only to increase the temperature of the water in the aquarium is necessary in several stages, so that the temperature increases by 3-4 degrees per day.

And during this period it is advisable not to feed your pets.

Unfortunately, hyperthermal treatment can adversely affect some aquarium plants that do not like too high temperatures. This technique gives good results in the treatment of cichlids from the African continent. This method of treatment can be very helpful if you have already tried to cure your fish with metronidazole (in pet stores you can find it as Hexamethryl).

What is this drug?

A good enough medicine, since it does not have any effect on biofiltration and you can safely pour it into aquas with sick fish and they do not need to be transplanted into another tank. The required proportion of the drug to combat unwanted guests is 250 mg per 35 liters of water. The medicine is introduced into the aquarium for three days and at that time every day it is necessary to replace of the water with fresh.

A day later, you need to replace about 15% of the water. If you suddenly notice that the fish have lost all appetite, then such treatment should be stopped. To show the first results of your efforts, you have to suffer a week or two.

To prevent relapse, treatment should not be stopped for a day, as it lasts 12-15 days.

You can also combine treatment with metronidazole and hyperthermia treatment. This combination is usually used in the treatment of labyrinth and South American cichlids.

If the sore progresses steadily and there is a high risk to kill all the life in the aquarium, the treatment is best done in a separate tank. In this case, your hands are untied and you can combine antibiotics with nitrofurans.

The easiest and most readily available way to carry out preventive measures against hexamitosis is to use medicinal foods that contain spirulina, furazolidone and kanamycin. In addition, if you feed your fish monotonous food, it’s time to think about how to diversify their diet.

Also keep the aquarium clean and tidy. My advice to you is to buy yourself one of the preparations (Fishtamin or Activant from sera) and add them to the aquarium water.

The list of drugs that are successfully used in the treatment of hexamitosis:

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