HOW TO TREAT NEON TETRA DISEASE

How to treat neon tetra disease



Neon tetra are arguably one of the most popular of all species of freshwater, tropical fish. In fact an incredible 1.8 million neon tetras are imported into the United States for the aquarium trade each month! Unfortunately neon tetra are a timid species, especially when kept in low numbers as they find confidence in the protection of the large shoals. A nervous disposition combined with their reasonably specific water quality requirements (pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and a KH of 1.0 to 2.0) means that they can be prone to stress related illness and disease, be it environment stress for bullying from larger, more aggressive fish species.

Neon tetra disease - http://i.imgur.com/XMoC09q.png
One of the more serious illnesses contracted by neon tetras is the rather unimaginative 'neon tetra disease' otherwise known as pleistophora disease. Neon tetra disease is a highly contagious illness caused by the parasite Pleistophora hyphessobryconis, a single-celled organism. It is also fast acting often killing the fish with just a few days of the symptoms becoming obvious.

Spores of the parasite enter the neon tetra usually through consuming the infected flesh of a dead or dying fish. It is also believed that the popular live food, tubifex worms, may also be a carrier of the Pleistophora spores. The sudden incidence of neon tetra disease usually occurs after the introduction of newly purchased infected aquarium fish.

Symptoms of neon tetra disease include restlessness, loss of their iridescent coloration, the formation of grey or white patches on their flanks, and lumps on their body as cysts develop. Further clues include a difficulty in swimming, a progressive curving of the spine, and an incidence of secondary infections due to a suppression of their immune systems such as fin rot and internal bloating. Infected fish tend to be separate for the shoal, often hiding under aquarium plants or ornaments, and showing a distinct lack of appetite.

Treatment

While there is currently no 'off-the-shelf' cure for neon tetra disease, there is evidence to believe that when kept under optimum conditions healthy specimens are capable of fighting off the disease, killing off the parasite using their own immune system. Antibiotics prescribed by a veterinary surgeon may be administered. The antiprotozoal agent 'Toltrazuril' has shown to be an effective remedy to neon tetra disease but it is currently unavailable as a commercial medication.

Aquariums with hard water or comparatively high temperatures allow the parasites to progress within the fish while the immune systems are depressed due to environmental stress. Remove infected fish as they become apparent, and maintain a more suitable temperature of approximately 72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and as mentioned previously a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and a KH of 1.0 to 2.0.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO CARE FOR CARDINAL TETRA
HOW TO CARE FOR NEON TETRAS
HOW TO CONTROL NEON TETRA DISEASE
HOW TO CARE FOR PENGUIN TETRA
NEON TETRA
NEON TETRA DISEASE
PENGUIN TETRA
THE WORLD'S UGLIEST FISH
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S MOST POISONOUS FISH?

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