Common Fish Tank Parasites you Need to Concern about

Keeping aquarium fish takes a lot of attention and time. If you wish to have some fish at home, you can consider these best aquarium fish to pet at home.

It may be challenging to distinguish the normal and abnormal fish. Parasites are commonly found in fish tank, however, you need to be aware of them. Parasites, such as worms, can be harmful to your fish health.

Parasites, such as worms, are common, natural and unavoidable . However, they can be an indication too that your fish tank is not healthy. Let’s see the common fish tank parasites and some tips you can follow to prevent the invasion of those parasites.

1. Trematodes – flukes

Trematodes are considered as the most basic of the worms. They are small worms which can cause extreme irritation to the skin, gills and eyes of the fish. They are also commonly called flukes. It is a guaranteed problem for a fish tank to get these parasites at least once a year.

Unfortunately, they are microscopic, so they cannot be seen with naked eye. If you use a microscope to see your fish’s skin mucus, then you probably find them.

Trematodes exist in all systems, but in a very small number. Therefore, they do not always include clinical signs of disease. Only when the fish are stressed, these parasites will be able to multiply and spread throughout your tank.

There are some signs of fish that is infected by these parasites, such as red, irritated skin, rubbing against objects or wall in the tank, or bruises from flashing. They are easy to treat, but cannot be eliminated fully.

2. Anchor Worms

Another parasite that can be commonly found in your fish tank is anchor worm. Anchor worms burrow themselves deep into the muscle of the fish, and as a result, it creates large ulcers.

These parasites can be very irritating to fish and may result in secondary infections. Fortunately, they can be easily diagnosed and be treated simply.

3. Tapeworms

Tapeworms are a bit hard to be diagnosed in fish. The passing of cestode segments in the feces is very difficult to see. One of the most common signs of infection is failure to gain weight. It needs fresh fecal microscopic exam to confirm the positive diagnosis of cestode infection.

Water-based treatments won’t work well to cure internal cestodes. Instead, your vet will prescribe for a food-based medication.

4. Hookworms and Roundworms

One of the largest group of worms, the nematodes contain a variety of zoonotic worms. These parasites can all potentially affect aquatic animals. The nematodes include the genera Uncinaria, Ancylostoma, Bunostomum and Toxocara.

It is important for fish owners to understand that many invertebrates can be involved in the nematode life cycle. Larval migrans is a disease which is characterized by the migration of nematodes in their larval stages (hookworms) within all body tissues. This can cause significant disease in humans and other animals.

5. Annelids – Bristle worms, fireworms, leeches

People are familiar with these annelids. Annelids include bristle worms, fireworms and leeches. Bristle worms are commonly found in saltwater systems. You will notice bristle worms in your tank because they sting!

They flare their bristles in defense, penetrating human skin and injecting neurotoxin. This neurotoxin produces intense irritation and painful burning sensation when in contact. Similarly, fireworms hurt even more.

There are several tips to prevent fish tank parasites. Even though it is unavoidable for a fish tank to have parasites, it is better to do some prevention.

  • Prevent your fish from getting stressed. Stress can weaken their immune systems. There are some sources of stress, such as poor water quality, shipping, inadequate filtration, improper diet, overcrowding. Get the complete list of causes of stress in fish.
  • Always quarantine new, sick, or injured fish. By doing so, you can prevent your fish from getting the worm or parasites. 4 to 6 weeks quarantine will allow you to observe any disease processes.
  • Change the water regularly. Make sure to know these common problems of water in fish tank, such as why does my aquarium have foamy water and causes of cloudy water in aquarium.
  • Be diligent about filter maintenance. By doing so, you will be able to prevent these symptoms of low pH level in fish tank.
  • Feed your fish a varied high-quality diet.
  • Do not overstock your aquarium.