Gill Flukes / Body Flukes
A Pond Keepers Number One Parasite Enemy !!
Controlling gill flukes and body flukes are a major step in basic koi care.
Flukes are one of the main causes of koi pond fish ulcers. You can cure the ulcers but if you don’t eliminate the flukes the ulcers will return. Here’s what you should know about flukes and how to keep them from harming your pond fish friends.
First of all you cannot see gill flukes or body flukes with the naked eye, they are microscopic. The life span of a gill fluke or body fluke in warm water is 14 to 30 days, however, in cold water, eggs and adults can survive up to seven months. This is why it’s so important for koi collectors to treat their koi fish every spring and fall for flukes.
There are two classes of flukes: Gill Flukes Dactylogyrus (Dacs) and Body Flukes Gyrodactylus (Gyros).
- Dactylogyrus (Dacs): are called gill flukes, however, gill flukes are also found on the body. Gill flukes are “egg layers”. Depending on the temperature of the water the eggs can hatch from 4 to 30 days. No treatment will terminate gill flukes in the “egg stage”. For this reason treatments must be done over a period of time and that time depends on the temperature of the water. The warmer the water, the faster the eggs will hatch making the treatment time shorter.
- Gyrodactylus (Gyros): are called body flukes, however, Gyros are also found on the gills. Gyros are ” Live Bearers”. As soon as the young are born they attack your goldfish. A treatment of five to seven days will solve your body fluke problem.
How do Gill Flukes and Body flukes harm my koi?
- Flukes itch your koi, like fleas do to a dog, causing them to Flash
- Flukes bite through the koi’s protective slime coat and into the skin of the koi causing deadly bacterial forming ulcers which can be fatal to your koi. Gill flukes will eat away healthy gills to a point that your koi will not be able to breathe.
Don’t wait for signs of flukes to appear on your koi fish. VERY Important:
Treat every new pond fish for gill flukes and body flukes no matter where you bought them. In fact, you should treat all your Koi fish for gill flukes and body flukes every spring and then again in the fall just before your koi fish get ready for their long winter’s nap.
Keeping your koi free from deadly gill flukes and body flukes will bring you a long way in keeping your koi fish happy and healthy!
Good Koi Care Means “Fluke Free” Koi and pond fish!!!