I think the name Cyclochaeta is out of use, and looking through Glenn
Hoffman's "Parasites of North American Freshwater Fishes" I find no
reference to it. But I'd hazard a guess that these protozoa are genus
Trichodina, usually gill parasites but capable of whole body infestations. I
hope to look and see; we might be going out today for more shiners, and I'll
keep a close eye on the stripeds.
the balmy, dry Tennessee Valley
Huntsville, AL, US of A
>From: "Mysteryman" <bestfish-in-alaweb.com>
>Subject: NANFA-L-- Mystery tentatively solved
>Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 08:00:20 -0500
>That weird mystery malady that was wiping out my Rainbow Shiners has been
>narrowed down to a ciliated protozoan. These little beasties are in the
>of attaching to the caudal fin, tearing it to shreds, and feasting on the
>blood. Loss of blood is apparently the cause of death for the affected
>although no bleeding is visible unless the crust of parasites is removed.
>gills are strangely left alone; the parasite has a strong affinity for the
>caudal fin. The other fins are also largely ignored. The white crusty
>appearance is due to a congregation of thousands of the creatures piled up
>the fins & each other. Just how they swarm so suddenly in such great number
>and attach to fish in such a very short time is something I haven't figured
>out, but it does-in-least explain the way the fish are fine all night and
>attacked in the morning. I guess the parasites wake up-in-dawn and begin
>Antifungal & antibiotic meds seem to retard their growth & spread for a
>while, and antiparasite meds knock them down for a lot longer. I gave the
>a massive dose ( 3X normal ) of Coppersafe, and after about 10 days with no
>further outbreaks the problem seems to be solved, although the fish are
>obviously unhappy about the copper. A few massive water changes might help
>them through it.
>Normal copper doses weren't having any useful effect. I would guess that a
>strong dose of Clout or similar might also work.
>I never did get around to sending any specimens to a lab, but I will. I
>used my own microscope and pored through a whole bunch of books on the
>subject, finally finding one obscure reference in a very old book printed
>when people still commonly kept natives. No physical description of the
>parasite in that example is given, so I don't know if that's the culprit.
>Cyclochaeta is the name of it, or-in-least it was way back then, and the
>symptoms described are a good match for what my poor little rainbows
>I've never before heard of this Cyclochaeta, and that's odd in itself,
>have a LOT of books on the subject of fish diseases. Oh, well; the newer
>have long had the irksome habit of leaving out good stuff from times past,
>Anyway, I figured you guys would like to know about this irritating little
>beastie in case you have the same symptoms in your fish someday. This
>knowledge came too late to save my Rainbows, but my Flagfins are okay.
>my Bluenoses were never exposed; I'm sure they wouldn't have had a chance.
>By the way, the Warmouth milt has had zero effect on the bluenoses in
>to making them spawn, although they are in full spawning condition and
>courting constantly. ( Quite a sight! Who needs Bettas with this action
>on? ) I guess I'm gonna have to find a Longear.
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