Why does this happen and how do I prevent it?
The most common forms of visible parasites are: anchor worm (lernea), fish lice (argulus), gill maggots (ergasilus), flukes, and fish leeches (psicicola) and if left untreated these parasites can cause life threatening damage. These parasites are relatively rare in ponds and normally introduced with new fish or plants – carefully inspect any new fish and consider quarantining them before adding them to the pond.
The treatments which can treat this crustacean and leech parasites in ponds are too powerful to be available without a prescription. Contact a vet to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe a suitably powerful treatment. Alternatively remove the fish to a smaller holding pond and treat with Interpet Anti Crustacean parasite aquarium treatment – drain the pond and allow it to completely dry out to kill any parasites not on the fish and disinfect plants in a solution of Interpet Anti Crustacean parasite aquarium treatment
Key areas to consider and regularly monitor to prevent future outbreaks and aid recovery:
- maintain good water quality
- test your water regularly
- consider quarantine when introducing new fish to an established community
- be aware of pollutants entering the pond through heavy rainfall, run off into the pond, wildlife and garden chemicals like pesticides