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FishDeals.com | Aquarium Fish Disease Identification, Diagnosis & Treatment
 
Hole in the Head (Hexamita) - Identification & Treatment

Major Sick Fish Diseases:

Much has been written on the topic of stress & disease, below is summary to help guide you throughout Hole in the Head prevention and identification. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to Ask An Expert.

 Ask a Question in the Sick Fish Stress & Disease Forum

Name: HOLE IN THE HEAD
Symptoms:
  • Holes in the Head, Duh
  • Small sores on head
  • Sores Spread


  • Symptoms of Stress & Disease
  • Hole in the Head General Description
    This is pretty rare. Hole in the Head is a disease of tropical fish. Hole in the Head is most often seen in large Cichlids or other large fish. Oscars are large Cichlids and are often infected with Hole in the Head.
    Hole in the Head Treatments
    The 'hole in the head disease' can be fatal and at present, very little literature is written about the cure for it. The symptoms that started off as a small "pimple" on the head erupts and grow into a deep crater that may affect the skull/head. Worst scenario is fatality and in lucky circumstances, it may just remain as scars on the face. Unfortunately, the disease is difficult to cure as it rarely responds to any medication. There are some water proof cream with antibiotic functions that can be applied to the injury areas but there's no real guarantee it will work.

    There is one option. The combination of Flagyl (metronidazoel) and Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) usually does work to cure Hole in the Head. But these are both pharmaceutical drugs that require a prescription to obtain.
    Hole in the Head Prevention
    You can help to improve the rate of survival by keeping the tank water clean with regular fresh water changes or using biological filters. The disease were said to be a cause from poor water quality with secondary bacterial/viral infections.

    Hole in the Head often occurs in aquariums with under gravel filters, and sometimes in aquariums with canister filters, but rarely in aquariums with a BIO-Wheel filters.
    Image Gallery of Hole in the Head
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    Hole in the Head Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a Question, please post one here, Ask An Expert

    #ImageDisease TitleTop 3 Symptoms
    1. Ammonia Poisoning
  • Red streaking on the fins or body.
  • Purple or red gills.
  • Fins are torn & jagged.
  • 2. Anchor Worms
  • Tiny white-green or red worms in wounds.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Ulcers may appear.
  • 3. Black Spot
  • Small black speckles on body.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Small black smudges on fish.
  • 4. Cataracts
  • White or grey "foggy" eyes.
  • Eye looks like it has a slime coat.
  • Tendency to bump into things.
  • 5. Cotton Mouth
  • White "Cotton like" fungus on the mouth.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins.
  • 6. Curved Spine (Fish TB)
  • Curved or Crooked Spine.
  • Lesions on the body.
  • loss of scales.
  • 7. Dropsy
  • Huge, Fat, Bloated Belly.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Scales almost popping off.
  • 8. Fin Rot
  • Fins turn Jagged or whitish and die back.
  • Fins look like they were ripped off.
  • Fish is not eating.
  • 9. Hole in the Head
  • Hole in the head.
  • Small sore on head.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • 10. Ichthyophthirius
    (white spot or ick)
  • Small white "salt-like" pimples on fins & body.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • 11. Neon Tetra Disease
  • Restlessness.
  • Whitened areas deep into the fishes' flesh.
  • Spine may become curved.
  • 12. New Tank Syndrome
  • Sudden Death.
  • Cloudy Water.
  • Unexplained Death.
  • 13. Oodinium (velvet)
  • Fine grey-gold to whitish 'dust' on the body.
  • Very rapid gill movement.
  • Scratching or flashing.
  • 14. Parasites (External)
  • Large ugly sores on body.
  • Skin looks grey in patches.
  • Fish swim aimlessly.
  • 15. Planaria
    (white hairlike worms)
  • Small White Hairlike Worms.
  • Tiny, Wiggley Worms often found in the substrate.
  • 16. Pop Eye
  • One or both eyes protrude from the head in an unusual fashion.
  • 17. Skin / Gill Flukes
  • Fish gasps for air at the water's surface
  • Gills open and close rapidly
  • Gills are covered in mucus
  • 18. Swim Bladder Disease
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy
  • 19. Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • View Symptoms per Vitamin
  • References/Further Reading

    The Manual of Fish Health
    Dr. Chris Andrews, Adrian Exell and Dr. Neville Carrington.
    New Jersey: Tetra Press, 1988

    Handbook of Fish Diseases
    Dieter Untergasser
    Translation by Howard H. Hirschhorn
    T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1989


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