- Atabrine Stock:10 mg/ml dH2O. Store in light tight bottle.
- Salt Stock: 20 tablespoons (280 g) Instant Ocean Sea Salts (Aquarium Systems, Inc.) dissolved in 2 liters distilled water
Fish tuberculosis or mycobacteriosis is also a common disease. The agent, Mycobacterium marinum, is a rod-shaped, gram positive, non-motile, non-spore-forming bacterium1. Fish are infected by ingesting the bacteria in unpasteurized food or through abrasions in the skin. Snails often harbor the bacteria.
Symptoms of Mycobacteriosis:
Definitive diagnosis should be made by a pathology lab. There is no known effective antibiotic to treat mycobacteriosis. Some level of disease control can be obtained by eliminating sick fish, by sterilizing tanks routinely and all equipment that comes in contact with the fish or the tank water, and by reducing stress caused by moving fish between tanks or by changes in temperature, water flow, or feeding regimen.
- listlessness; the fish may isolate itself from other fish and refuse to eat
- emaciation; hence, the name "skinny"
- skin ulcers
- spinal curvature
- pigment change
- grey-white nodules in internal organs
A word of caution regarding fish tuberculosis: Some cases of transfer of fish tuberculosis to humans has been documented. Precautions should be taken by wearing disposable gloves and washing hands with betadine (providone iodine) when handling sick fish. Persons with immuno-deficiency problems should not handle fish with TB.
Other diseases that occur less frequently include raised scales, tumorous eyes, and hemorrhages. In these instances, remove the diseased fish as soon as they are seen and clean the tank.
Reference: Post, G. (1987) Textbook of Fish Health, T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ, pp. 228.
(Source: M. Pack, J. Belak, C. Boggs, M. Fishman and W. Driever)
Capillarids are thin and transparent worms that can reach one centimeter length. The eggs have a characteristic oval shaped appearance with a plug-like structure at either end and are visible in the adult worm, and the gut or feces of infected fish. Photographs and a good description of Capillarids at
different developmental stages can be found in the Handbook of Fish
Diseases, Dieter Untergasser, Editor (TFH publications, 1989, p. 104-105).
Worms in the intestinal bulb of adult zebrafish are motile and can be easily
seen when the dissected gut, in egg water (0.03% Instant Ocean), is viewed with transmitted light using a high power (50X) dissecting microscope. Outside the fish gut Capillarids are no longer motile.
A combination of two drugs, Trichlorfon and Mebendazole ("Fluke-tabs"; Aquarium Products, 180-L Penrod Court, Glen Burnie, M.D. 21061) has been
reported to be extremely efficacious for removing monogenetic trematodes from
fresh water fish. Trichlorfon is an insecticide with anti-cholinergic activity
that is considered toxic to humans. Mebendazole, a common anti-helminthic used to treat human intestinal infections, inhibits glucose uptake and is cidal for
adult helminths and embryos.
Use the dosage recommended by the supplier; one tablet per 38 liters once
trials to assess toxicity are completed. Add the drugs as a slurry (100
tablets per one liter water-let stir 10 minutes) because they are poorly
soluble in water. Repeat the treatment after 24 and 48 hours with a 10% water
change every day thereby increasing the effective concentration. Remove carbon filters during treatment. Wear plastic gloves to avoid contact with water.
Reinstall carbon filters at 72 hours to remove the drugs from the system.
Repeat the treatment protocol at 10 days because the cidal effect of these
drugs on freshly fertilized eggs or dauerlarvae is not reported.
Continue testing fish at regular intervals and retreat if necessary.
Goven, B.A. and Amend D.F. (1982) Mebendazole/trichlorfon combinations: A new anti-helminthic for removing monogenetic trematodes from fish. J. Fish
The Zebrafish Book