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The Goldfish Sanctuary

Slime Diseases

Symptoms: sluggishness, frayed fins, dulled coloration (fish has bcome mucus covered), damaged gills, death

There are various types of protozoa which can cause these symptoms, and they are treated in a similar way. The different parasites are Costia (Ichtybodo), Cyclochaeta (Trichodina), and Chilodonella respectively, the last being the most resistant of the parasites. Once the disease has spread to the gills, it is at its most deadly, and could prove fatal to the affected fish.

The first thing to do is to contact your vet or petstore for further instruction. Several good medications are available. It is wise to treat your main tank in order to ensure that you have successfully removed all traces of the parasite from it (although it may be beneficial to also move a badly afflicted fish to a quarantine tank). Leave the filter running, but remove any activated carbon because this substance takes medicine out of the water.

If the slime disease persists despite the use of a general medication, it is most likely the Chilodonella strain, and additional action must be taken. Placing your fish into a short-term bath is then suggested. NOTE that giving your fish a bath in this way is strongly discouraged except under the supervision of an expert! This said: if the fish's gills are not affected, a bath in a water-formalin solution (formalin is a corrosive poison) is suggested. If the gills are affected, the fish may not be able to survive a bath in water-formalin, and so a bath in a water-salt solution is suggested, with a water-formalin bath to follow only if the water-salt solution does not succeed.