Medicated Fish Foods

Whitespot is very damaging to the gills and skin. In heavily infected fish it can cause a rapid loss of condition, considerable distress and death. Infected fish have small white spots on the skin and gills and produce excess mucus, due to irritation. Whitespot causes most damage when entering and leaving the tissues of the fish. This can lead to the loss of skin and ulcers. These wounds can harm the ability of a fish to control the movement of water into its body. Damage caused to the gill tissue of an infected fish can also reduce respiratory efficiency. This means it is more difficult for the fish to obtain oxygen from the water, and becomes less tolerant to low levels of dissolved oxygen.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment can be highly effective, and it can be combined with other treatments. However, it can only be used on fish that can tolerate high water temperatures, and is unsuitable for cold water fish like koi and goldfish, but even in those cases, a higher water temperature will accelerate the life-cycle of the parasite, allowing other treatments to take effect sooner.


For treating koi and goldfish, chlorine, in the form of tapwater, is very effective in removing not only the threadlike parasites, but eventually the persistent cysts. Thread like infestations on fish will disappear overnight, cysts will take a couple of weeks and possibly a couple of water changes to eliminate. Aquarium lighting is used to detect the presence of parasites, as the filament like threads fluoresce at these light frequencies.


One method of treatment for ich consists of adding aquarium salt until a specific gravity of 1.002 g/cm³ is achieved, as the parasites are less tolerant of salt than fish. This is not practical in ponds because even a light salt solution of 0.01% (100 mg/L; pure water at 4 °C/39 °F), would require large quantities of salt. Fish can be dipped in a 0.3% (3g/L; pure water at 4 °C) solution for thirty seconds to several minutes, or they can be treated in a prolonged bath at a lower concentration (0.05% = 500 mg (0,5g)/L; pure water at 4 °C).

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments include formalin, malachite green, methylene blue, chelated copper, copper sulfate, potassium permanganate and quinine. There are also a large number of proprietary treatments available for the treatment of white spot, and the related Oodinium (velvet disease). Chemical treatment is only effective against free-swimming juvenile parasites [tomites]. All treatments target the free-living theronts and tomonts, which only survive about two to three days in the absence of a host fish.


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