FAQs about Isopods 2
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Related Articles: Isopod
Crustaceans, Crustacean Parasitic Disease,
Isopod options, please help 9/25/17
You have been so helpful over the years, I hope everyone is well and you can
help me with this too. I have a young Kole tang in my QT. He was purchased 2
weeks ago and doing great, feeding, active, good colours, etc. He does however
seem to have a small lump on his back fin, right at the tip and this has grown a
bit over the past week. It is definitely not lymph or Ick. It looks like a small
isopod although I can’t see eyes (yet!). It’s hard to take a good picture of it
but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is although it hasn’t moved at all for the
past 12 days. It looks like a grain of rice, only maybe ¼ - ½ of the size.
My question is what is the best way to remove it?
<IF it's only the one, I would try carefully netting (use two, one in either
hand, to manipulate the animal, rather than chase it), hold the fish near the
surface of the water (watch out for the tangs on the caudal peduncle! They are
sharp, and the fish knows how to wield them), and daub (with a cotton swab) full
strength (37%) formaldehyde directly on the object. See WWM re Formaldehyde use,
I don’t know if I should dose Cupramine in the hope it would kill the parasite?
<Mmm; no... not copper product/s. Will kill the host, much else before killing
Manual removal would be easy as it’s just on his fin but hubby is not keen on
getting the fish out of water to perform this. I have never had to perform FW
dip and this scares me but is this also an option?
<I would not pull on this spot just yet. IF it is an isopod, it will be VERY
well attached and you will damage the fish. Better to poison/kill it as I've
mentioned above, and have it drop off on its own>
Many thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
<Please do report back your further observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Isopod options, please help 9/26/17
Thank you so much for your fast response, Bob! Yes, it is just the one and it
Ok, I will look into sourcing the formaldehyde now.
I have a bottle of Seachem’s Paraguard too, not sure if that will be any good.
<Not useful here>
I dosed the recommended amount of this broad spectrum treatment but the parasite
seems perfectly happy still.
Just one more thing regarding manual removal. The parasite is attached to the
very tip of the tang’s back fin so I was thinking of perhaps cutting this tiny
<Mmm... as an alternative, I'd try squishing it with strong tweezers and just
It will be no worse than having a nipped fin and I believe it will regrow. What
do you think? As I said, it’s right on the very end.
<An unusual position for a parasitic isopod... they tend to attach on the body,
in the mouth, at fin insertions... where they can rasp, suck up tissue>
I am attaching a picture which doesn’t show the parasite in detail but shows the
position of it. ( I tried 3 different cameras including a DSLR but due to the
fish’s colour, it’s impossible to focus on it well and he is a bit jumpy so I
can’t get super close).
<Can't really make out; but thanks for sending along>
Re: Isopod options, please help 9/26/17
Yes, I was just thinking that the fin is probably not the best place for it but
it makes it a bit easier to remove. I seems a tiny bit bigger today but again,
after spending 30 min.s by the tank, I've given up trying to take a picture!
Will keep you posted
<If possible; please do send along better resolved pic/s. B>
Re: Isopod options, please help 9/26/17
Hopefully the next picture I send will be of the little beast removed from my
beautiful tang! Watch this space, feeling determined!
<Ahh, tres bien!>
I had a flame angel in the QT too but after having observed it for 2 weeks
(wasn’t brave enough to copper it), I decided to cut the quarantine short and
move him over as I didn’t want that thing to move or drop off and start
multiplying (don’t know much about them as have never come one across!). Angel
has made himself at home in the DT and not taking orders from any of the old
inhabitants, not even my 11 year old veteran Sixline!
<Welcome Jo. BobF>
|Isopod help!! Rdg.
Hi Bob, I am hoping you can help, I found this and think it's an isopod!
<Appears to be>
I am wandering how you can Identify if it is a shrimp of a fish predator?
<Need better image/s. Read here:
and the linked files above>
This was in our quarantine tank,
I am a bit concerned as had to put all livestock in here late December due
to a tank leak! Would any symptoms of them being present in the main system
be present by now?
None of the fish have ulcers and I haven't seen them on any of our fish!
How do you get rid of them? Your help is much appreciated.
<Read. Bob Fenner>
Here is a couple more pics of the isopod!
|Re: Isopod help!!
I think it is a spheramatid as the eyes are on the side of the head not the
top, it could also roll up!
Is there a big difference between the males and females tail? Thank-you!
<Not much. B>
Isopod parasite 11/29/13
I have just removed a half inch isopod from the bucal cavity of my
blenny. They blenny was suffering from swelling in the area and labored
breathing and so my LFS suggested a freshwater dip as a last resort to
see what was wrong.The copper and Prazi-pro I had previously tried
treating this fish with seem to have little effect as the "lump" (now
confirmed as an isopod) continued to grow. To my horror this giant
(compared to the fish) thing tried backing its way out my fishes gills
during the dip.
Sadly it was too large for this and became jammed in. I was forced to
extract it with tweezers in an attempt to allow the fish to breath. The
fish survived the initial removal but was either too stressed or had too
much gill damage. He is now barley hanging on and I don't believe he
will survive. I am very concerned about my other fish. Everything
I am reading is either about external isopod parasites or the one that
eats the tongue. I am hoping one of the crew may know more about this
bucal cavity isopod and what I should do to spare my other fish from
this horrible ordeal.
I am not even sure if they are infected or if this was a one time thing
but I do not want to lose any more fish.
A very sad and horrified,
<Buccal cavities are not strange places for some isopod parasites...
great placement for water movement, protection from predators and foods!
Due to their life cycle requirements there is not much chance that
others are inhabiting or likely to infest your other fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Isopod parasite 11/30/13
Thank-you very much. I tried to find out more about what type of isopod
this was but quickly found out that classifying these creatures takes a
lifetime of study.
<Classifying perhaps; but identification not a big deal...>
The best I could do is that it is from the family of Aegid. I will be
replacing my blenny with a captive bred individual so that
I don't have to deal with the chance of another one of these coming in
with a wild caught fish.
ID Needed 8/13/07 Hi. This little creature from the
coast of Maine (Bailey Island) on a mussel shell is 3.7mm long.
Can you please ID? Thanks, David Reed <Interesting... appears
to be a crustacean of some sort... any chance for an image of the
underside (to show its legs?)... almost looks like a juvenile
Limulus with the single trailing "tail". Bob Fenner>
Re: ID Needed 8/13/07 Here are a couple more
shots taken when it crawled onto my finger. David
<Ahh! Does appear to be an Isopod here. Bob Fenner>