Why does this happen and how do I prevent it?
Often referred to as Itch or Ick, White spot is caused by the Ichthyophthirius parasite. Parasites are naturally present in your pond and in small numbers will usually be controlled by the immune system of your fish. As stress factors in the pond weaken the fish, parasites can reach dangerous numbers and will become harmful to their fish hosts.
Controlling stress factors is key to preventing outbreaks and the recovery of your fish.
The white spots you see on the fish is the mature stage of the parasites life cycle and will not be directly affected by treatment. White spot treatments require two doses to catch the parasites at their most delicate stage. After the parasites have stopped feeding from the fish they will drop and begin to duplicate in a cyst on the bottom of the tank. When the cyst bursts the new parasites will swim through the water to find a fish to feed from, the time when they are swimming is the time the treatment will attack.
Key areas to consider and regularly monitor to prevent future outbreaks and aid recovery:
- maintain good water quality
- test your water regularly
- complete routine maintenance
- consider quarantine if 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
What treatment should I use?