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Koi Diseases

Fish Lice - Argulus






Fish Lice

Type: Parasitic


>> caused by fish lice, Argulus, a light green/brown, translucent, shield-shaped crustacean up to 1/2 inch in diameter

>> Argulus feed by injecting digestive enzymes into the tissue using a pre-oral sting and suck out the liquefied body matter with their proboscis-like mouth

>> this feeding activity irritates the fish greatly and can result in localized inflammation of the skin, primarily because of the piercing action of the sting

>> bacterial infection of irritated areas can arise and cause even bigger problems for the koi




>> presence of fish lice (argulus) on the skin that look like dark spots at first glance; argulus is one of the very few fish parasites visible to the naked eye

>> rubbing of body against rocks and pond surfaces in the early stages; lethargy in later stages

>> can be fatal if gills are infected




>>  for very mild presence in isolated koi, the lice may be manually removed by carefully scraping it off with a cotton bud

>> also for mild infections, subjecting the koi to a strong salt bath for about 10 minutes may also cause the lice to remove its grip on the koi and eventually die in the salt bath, but extreme care must be taken to ensure that the koi can survive the salt concentration used

>> fish lice can be eradicated with repeated treatments with organophosphates such as Masoten at 10-day intervals

>> some experts also recommend Dimilin



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