Saturday, April 24, 2010

Black disease or discus plague


Black disease or discus plague

What is black disease? What is discus plague?

Black disease also referred to as Discus Plague.
It is a disease caused by virus. Discus fish will die when the virus attacks them. If it happens in a discus farm, it will kill all if no proper action taken to prevent it to spread.

How does it look like? What are the symptoms?

The fish stay in a corner of the tank with body full of slime. They stay just under the surface of water and breathe heavily. They turn dark in color, fin clamping, scratching against objects.
They will turn black with abundant of body mucus secretion and its fins folded. They will flock together or hide at a corner. The epidemic goes from one tank to another and spread rapidly.

Can we save the fish?

Certainly, you can save your fish. What will happen if this epidemic spread rapidly and is incurable? All the fish in the rivers, in the ponds and in the sea will die. Then the fish will be extinct. There will be no more fish in the world. Do not worry as you can overcome this disease. If you monitor it properly and patiently, you can save all your fish.

When the disease strikes:

Those who have experienced it, often talk about the panic and helplessness feeling. They consult experts, experienced discus keepers and friends. Before they can start to do anything, the fish start dying one after another. The experience is painful to farms owners as they start losing their fish and years of their work.
The disease spread within days, possibly an airborne infection and contagious.
Discus will turned black and emit an awful smell. They lie still at the bottom of the tanks and if disturbed, they would dart and jump everywhere (early stage). At a later stage, whitish mucus will cover the whole body. Their fins and tails will rot and eventually they die. You will collect the dead fish by pail loads. This is the result after the black disease attacked.

Is it curable? How?

Oh! Yes, you can save your fish. You will help your fish to fight the virus.
Nothing you can do to the virus but the fish can. They will fight them. You must help your fish while they are fighting the virus. What you can help your fish is to stop the secondary infections from attacking the fish such as parasites and bacteria. Parasites and bacteria attack discus infected with black disease.
The slime or mucus is best for cultivating the bacteria. You must help the fish to get rid of these to reduce the growth of bacteria. Stop multiplying the bacteria. Allow your fish to concentrate on dealing with the virus and you help to kill and drive away the bacteria.
Anything that can kill parasites and bacteria can be use, provided the fish can tolerate. Medications found useful are Potassium permanganate, tetracycline, Formalin, Oxytetracycline and many others. Proper application and dosages of the medication above is crucial to achieve successful treatment. Most common mistake that fish keepers make is the poor decisions on medication and dosages
It will take 5 to 10 days for the battle between fish and virus. When your fish has overcome the virus problem, he will now divert his target to bacteria and parasites. You will apply more antibiotic for your fish. Once recovered, they will have antibody and immunity to this virus. They will grow; have no fear to this virus - called Black Disease.