White spot disease (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis)

White spot disease, also known as ‘Ich’, or in Latin Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is the most common aquarium fish disease. It is highly dangerous to fish, and can occur in any aquarium, to any aquarist: from beginner to expert. We recommend any aquarist to read this information carefully, so you can recognize and treat this disease as soon as possible if you get it in your aquarium!

The characteristic white spots are clearly visible once the parasites had time to grow a few hundred times in volume. Unfortunately, at this stage the invisible baby parasites had a lot of time to spread and you should act quickly. To heal the fish, we recommend eSHa EXIT. But if your fish also have other diseases, it is better to combine eSHa EXIT with eSHa 2000, both in the standard dosages.

Symptoms of white spot disease

You don’t have to wait for the white spots to appear. When you see the first signs of these symptoms, you should start treating your fish as soon as possible!

So what are some of these early warning signals we should look for?

  • Fish start moving slower and stay hovering at the surface or bottom of the aquarium. Some fish separate from the group or hide;
  • Fish start clamping their fins against their body;
  • The colors of the fish become dull;
  • The slime coat starts to thicken, which is more visible when they swim and turn;
  • The fish begin to rub against the bottom and decorative items, due to irritation from the parasites.

Shortly after these first signs of trouble, white spots appear on the body of the fish, with their numbers and sizes increasing by the hour. The speed of the disease depends directly on the water temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster the white spots appear.

Causes of white spot disease

There are multiple reasons white spot disease can develop:

  • Sudden changes in water temperature, for example during the cold season or after waterchanges;
  • Poor water quality;
  • Fresh or frozen food from natural ponds and waters which may also contain these natural parasites;
  • Introducing new fish, plants or other animals into the aquarium.

We recommend to quarantine new fish before introducing them in an aquarium. If quarantine is not possible or not practical, you can use half a dose of eSHa EXIT in combination with half a dose of eSHa 2000 in your main aquarium to greatly reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks.

White spot disease treatment

eSHa EXIT is very effective in getting rid of white spot! It is also safe for fish, plants, snails, shrimp and the filtration system. In severe cases, secondary bacterial infections will develop on the spots where the ‘Ich’ parasites break through the skin. This can be treated by combining eSHa 2000 together with eSHa EXIT, in the standard dosage, and will accelerate the healing of the damaged skin tissues and prevent the development of a secondary bacterial infection. As usual, the sooner you start treating your fish, the better the chances of success.

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