Costiasis or Costia is a freshwater ciliated protozoa parasite species called Ichthyobodo necatrix or Ichtyobodo pyriformis. Formally known as species Costia necatrix. These are stalked or Flagella (hairs) protozoa which attach to the skin or gills of fish to feed and can swim and attach themselves to other fish and then reproduces to infect other fish. Quite a common parasite in Barbs, Danio, Koi or Goldfish.
Signs of infection include excess mucous production, respiratory distress, lethargy, clamped fins, general debilitation and resting on the substrate. The parasites feed on the gill and skin cells and can quickly kill fish by depriving them of oxygen and allowing secondary infection of fungus and bacteria in to the wounds. This parasite can multiply quickly so treatment needs to be rapid.
Every 100 ml of Costiasis Treatment can treat 3,000 litres of water. Leave biological filtration running. Switch off UV sterilizers, ozonizers and remove zeolite and carbon before use. This treatment contains colour dye, avoid contact with clothes and furnishings. Dosage: 1 ml per 30 litres of water. You will require 4 separate applications to complete the course of treatment. By adding the treatment on days 1, 2 and 3 the product safely compounds in strength and does not burden the already stressed fish with a hard hitting formula. The final dose on day 6 is a preventative measure to try and ensure the parasite does not re-occur. Do not use when rays, momyrids, shrimps, sturgeons or when related species are present. Do not use simultaneously with other medications. Allow at least 48 hours to elapse when changing treatment. Suitable for tropical freshwater and coldwater aquaria. Perform partial water changes on the days between medication dosages.
Carefully observe your fish to be sure that costia does not recur after treatment. Monitoring and maintaining your water temperature is critical to ensure the parasite is completely eliminated from your aquarium. Many online forums will recommend raising your water temperature to speed up the parasite life-cycle. Unfortunately, in doing so, you may stress out your fish so be sure they are species that can tolerate warmer water temperatures before raising the temperature.
To prevent the parasites and diseases from entering your aquarium, all new additions, including fish, invertebrates and plants, should be quarantined in a separate tank using separate equipment for four to six weeks. Quarantine will be slightly shorter at higher temperatures. Do not manipulate your fish’s ideal temperature range in order to shorten your quarantine period. This can stress your fish and make them susceptible to many diseases and parasites.
All new plants previously kept with fish should be quarantined. By keeping plants isolated from all fish and inverts for at least two weeks, the parasite life cycle will break as there are no fish to feed on, and the parasite will die off. Parasites require a fish host to complete its life cycle. Use these two weeks to beef up your plants with some extra fertilizer since transport and handling can easily damage aquatic plants.
In order to improve your fish’s overall health and wellbeing, be sure to maintain good water quality at all times and feed an appropriate diet. Keep up with a regular maintenance schedule. Check in on all your fish on a regular basis and understand their normal appetites and behaviors so you can quickly judge when something is wrong. If you suspect something is wrong with your fish, contact your aquatic veterinarian as soon as possible.
The image displayed is for illustrative purposes only.