Velvet (Oodinum)

Symptoms: Overall paleness with tiny speckles resembling pale yellow dust.  Similar in appearance to Ick, but with much smaller dots.  Labored breathing and loss of appetite may also be present.

Treatment: Maracide, along with Maracyn-two to handle any secondary infection.  Increasing the salinity of your water is helpful as well.  Although similar to Ick, Velvet is much easier to treat. One teaspoon per gallon is usually sufficient.  Use Maracide in half dosage, as it is harmful to some puffers.  Treat for at least one week to ensure eradicating these parasites.

Background:  The causative organism of Velvet is Oodinium pillularis, a dinoflagellate. It appears in a free-living, motile stage of about 13 microns length. When this stage contacts fish, it adheres with its longer flagellum, but this is only a temporary stage. Several outgrowths (pseudopodia) are produced that grow in to the skin and the gills of the fish. The Flagella and the transverse groove disappear and the body shape changes into a pear-like form. Both free-swimming and the parasitic form of the organism contain some chlorophyll, which enables it to obtain food by the process of photosynthesis. It is at this stage where you can kill the organism.

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