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Discus Diseases: Bacterial External Skin Infection

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Cures' started by MOD_Dawn, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Bacterial skin infections are the most common disease affecting discus. If you keep discus as a hobby, your discus will most likely be exposed to an infection at some time. Bacterial skin infections are often associated with discus that get to cold. There is some evidence that it can actually come from humans with a cold or flu, but this relationship has not been conclusively established.

    Discus infected with bacterial skin infections show a wide range of symptoms and not all symptoms present themselves every time. The most common sign is a milky white coating appears on the skin of the discus and is often patchy. Discus suffering from bacterial skin infections will usually show at least a little interest in eating, though often they do not actually swallow any food. Discus with external bacterial infections will usually have an increased respiration rates and they will usually clump together in the corners of the tank. They often get darker, depending on the color strain of discus, and will often clamp their fins.

    BACTERIAL SKIN INFECTIONS ARE EXTREMELY CONTAGIOUS, SO QUARANTINE THE EFFECTED FISH IMMEDIATELY. With that said, by the time the discus shows signs of the infection, your other discus will often already be infected.

    If caught early, bacterial skin infections can usually be treated with success. The first line of defense is to start doing daily 50% water changes. If nothing else is done, this often will be enough to get most of your discus through to recovery. Your discus, if infected with a bacterial skin infection, will usually show some temporary signs of improvement after each water change. We also recommend treatment with Nitrofurazone at 50 mg per gallon of water for 24 hours once a week for two weeks (three times - once immediately, once after one week and again after two weeks). Lastly, start immediate UV filtration and keep the filtration continuous until two weeks after the symptoms disappear. If you stop UV filtration to quickly, the infection will often reappear. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL SERIOUS DISCUS ENTHUSIAST KEEP A UV FILTER AVAILABLE. We use constant UV filtration in all of our discus tanks.

    If caught early, and with proper treatment, bacterial skin infections are rarely fatal. If untreated it will spread to your other discus and will kill many of them. Be prepared for an infection in advance, as you will probably have to deal with one sooner or later, and immediate treatment is very important. Also keep in mind that secondary diseases such as Hexamitia are often associated with bacterial skin infections