Marine Velvet Disease
Marine Velvet Disease is identified by characteristic small gold-colored spots will cover the skin, which can progress to create a “velvet” appearance.
Marine velvet disease is one of the most common diseases that affects marine aquarium fish. Marine Velvet Disease is known by a variety of names including:
- Marine oodinium disease
- Gold dust disease.
Infecting organism responsible for causing Marine Velvet Disease in Aquarium Fishes: Amyloodinium ocellatum.
When not recognized or treated promptly, Marine Velvet Disease may become widespread and can cause:
- serious illness in aquarium fish
- and/or death in aquarium fish
Risk factors in Marine Velvet Disease in Aquarium Fishes
- The causative organisms Amyloodinium is often present in infective form in many aquatic environments, including fish aquariums.
The organism causing Marine Velvet Disease can withstand a wide variety of salinity levels and temperatures.
In fish aquariums, the chances of presence of large numbers of organisms to be found in a very confined space.
Symptoms of Marine Velvet Disease in Aquarium Fishes
- Small gold-colored spots will cover the skin, which can progress to create a “velvet” appearance
- Minimal symptoms
Signs of irritation and distress,
Rapid breathing and lethargy.
Symptoms of suffocation
Checking your fish for marine velvet disease
Place the infected fish in fresh water for several minutes and the organisms will drop off and float to the bottom. The surface water can be poured off and the sediment can be examined microscopically.
- Initiate treatment immediately
- Treatment for marine velvet disease is almost exclusively with copper.
- Ionic copper level of between 0.15 and 0.2 parts per million for a minimum of 14 days.
- Caution: Do not use Copper in tanks where invertebrates are also housed
- Use copper in a Quarantine Tank only to treat infected fish.
- Making your tank free of Marine Velvet Disease
- Removing the fish to a separate tank
- Keep the tank running fish-free for a month
Important things to remember when treating marine velvet disease:
- Stressed fish are much more likely to develop the disease.
- This disease is highly contagious.
- The key to treating this disease is early detection and prompt treatment.
- Most fish that show the severe skin form are probably too sick to respond to treatment.
Prevention is the best way to treat marine velvet disease.
Features of marine velvet disease
- extremely contagious,
- targets stressed fish.
- This disease most commonly shows up in newly purchased fish
- then often spread to other fish in the tank.
Remember that adding a new fish to a tank is stressful for the existing inhabitants as well, and if a new fish comes in with an existing case of marine velvet disease, many of the other fish in the tank could develop the disease.