Classification: Taxonomic ranks under review (cf. Illustrated Guide to Protozoa, Allen Press). Protista (unicellular eukaryotes) Ciliophora (with cilia, nuclear . Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a ciliated protozoan that causes. “Ich” or “white spot disease.” This disease is a major prob- lem to aquarists and commercial fish. The name Ichthyophthirius multifilis translates to “fish louse with many children”, a title that fits well, as each parasite may produce more than a.

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All species of freshwater fish are considered susceptible, and the parasite has been found in all areas of the world in both cultured and wild fish. This stage also has a horseshoe- or C-shaped nucleus that may be visible under 40x magnification Figure 3.

There is no dormant stage in the life cycle. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Ich theronts will die at 2 days in the absence of fish, and just to be absolutely sure, some recommend keeping ichthyophthirrius tank empty of fish and at 80 degrees for 4 days 96 hours. Of the life stages shown Figure 1only the free-swimming theronts are susceptible to chemical multifiiis. The growing trophozoite do not reproduce on the fish, but when they reach a certain size, they leave the pustules as tomonts and encyst on plant surfaces or on the bottom of the fish tank.

Partially treated fish may initially harbor low numbers of unseen trophonts, often in the gills.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is an ectoparasite of freshwater fish which causes a disease commonly known as white spot diseaseor Ich. Trophonts infect epithelial tissues, often causing visible lesions evident as white spots. It has a horseshoe-shaped nucleus, which is sometimes visible under x magnification. As Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is an obligate parasite, it is thought that its survival between outbreaks is through low-level infection in the population.

A small area of gill or fin may also be carefully clipped using small, sharp scissors. The importance of this quarantine period for aquaculture or public aquarium facilities cannot be over-emphasized. The disadvantage of copper sulfate is that it is extremely toxic, particularly in water of low alkalinity.


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Alternatively, the plants can be dipped in a weak pale pink solution of potassium permanganate for several minutes, rinsed with running water and added to the aquarium. Infections are diagnosed by the detection of characteristic pustules containing feeding trophonts.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Cichlid showing the white spots characteristic of ich Scientific classification Domain: Ammonia, nitrite, or high levels of nitrate in water do not in themselves cause clinical cases of Ich.

In contrast to most parasitic diseases where the decision to treat or not to treat is based on the degree of infestation and other factors, fish infected with even a single “Ich” parasite should always be treated immediately because of its explosive reproductive rate. Also, copper is noticeably more toxic to fish in soft water than in hard water.

CIR/FA Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (White Spot) Infections in Fish

The respiratory folds, lamellae, become deformed, further reducing the transfer of oxygen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Alphamonadidae Alphamonas Voromonadidae Voromonas.

Lesions on the skin, fins, gills, and cornea appear as greyish pustules. Fish diseases and parasites.

Temperature affects how quickly the parasites multiply, so increasing the temperature can force kultifiliis through their life cycle more quickly, allowing treatments to target Ichthyophthirius in its theront stage. The concentration of copper sulfate ichthyophthiris apply in freshwater is calculated by determining the total alkalinity of the water and dividing that number by This may include crowding, low dissolved oxygen, pollutants and moving.

Mount the skin, fin, and gill samples separately in drops of tank or other fresh water on a microscope slide and overlay gently with a glass coverslip.


A sub-clinically infected fish may initially only have a single trophont. Most aquacultured channel catfish in the southeast United Ichthyophthirrius are reared in ponds. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and Cryptocaryon irritans as examples”. If they appear stressed or try to jump out of the tank, flush the chemical from the system immediately with clean, well-oxygenated water. Views Read View source View history.


Visit the EDIS website at http: In preventing infection, priority should be given to avoid introducing the parasite in the first place. By the time the white spots are visible to the naked eye, the infected fish is very sick.

This will reveal the ciliates. A number of commercial preparations are available from pet stores that contain one or more of these agents.

Lesions containing engorging trophonts appear as visible white spots covering infected fish. NEVER use copper sulfate without first testing the total alkalinity of the water, carefully measuring the dimensions of the pond to be treated, and weighing the amount of chemical to be applied. Treatment protocols should be designed to target this theront stage.

Ichthyophthiriidae These ciliates are monoxenous one-host ectoparasites of fishes. This means that the application of a single dose of a treatment will only kill theronts that have emerged from the tomont cyst and have not yet burrowed into the skin or gills of a host fish. How Ich kills fish is not exactly known, however observations give possible explanations. In addition to chemical treatments, cleaning the tank every other day will help remove cysts attached to debris before the theronts emerge thereby helping prevent reinfection of the fish and completion of the life cycle.

Sick fish may be unable to tolerate a full treatment. Copper is another common and effective treatment for this parasite. With time, the level of resistance decreases and an outbreak can occur again. Gill and skin biopsies should be collected and examined with a light microscope when the first signs of illness are observed.

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