This time we take a look at a unicellular microorganism belonging to the class of Ciliates: Chilodonella sp. It is one of the most common parasites of fish, and can pose a great danger to the inhabitants of aquariums and ponds. Shapewise, Chilodonella sp. can resemble a leaf, a heart, or even a cap, depending on which side of the cell is visible through the microscope. The animal itself is covered with a layer of small cilia, used for locomotion.
There are several signs to indicate that fish are attacked by Chilodonella sp. In the initial stages of the disease, infected fish lose their appetite, move away from the main group of fish and hang at the surface or at the bottom of the aquarium. Often, the fishes’ fins are pressed to the body. In the next stage, areas of white mucus on the body of the fish are noticeable under the right angle, for example when the fish is turning or swimming head on towards you. Unfortunately, these symptoms are characteristic of most ectoparasitic infections, so a 100% certain diagnosis of Chylodonellosis in fish can only be done using a microscope. Chilodonella sp. pose the greatest danger to fish already weakened by stress and poor water quality. If you have bought new fish, we strongly recommend that you keep them in quarantine, and treat as described here (Support – FAQ – Quarantaine procedure). This quarantine procedure aims at preventing protozoal infection from entering the main aquarium. If you need to defeat Chylodonellosis in the aquarium, use EXIT, suited to combat protozoal infections of gills and skin caused by ciliated and flagellated microorganisms.