Fish Lice

Back in 2009 I worked as a Pet Care Specialist at Petsmart (unfortunately!), and I had to deal with a lot of fish parasites and other maladies the fish shipments arrived with.  While looking at the feeder goldfish tank, I saw a curious green spot on a comet’s tail.  I took the fish out to further inspect, and the green dot fell off the fish!  It was a fish louse.  Nasty little things!  Here’s my detailed photo and a video that shows its size in relation to my finger.  I’m glad I’ve never had these in my own aquariums at home!

Fish lice are one of the few fish parasites that can be seen with the naked eye, and they pose a serious threat to aquarium fish.  They use a sting to insert digestive enzymes into the fish, and then feed on the liquidized body fluids.  They cause tissue damage at the site, and can also create openings for opportunistic bacterial infections.  Fish lice should be picked off gently with a tweezers, and the tank should be treated using Dimilin according to the directions on the package.

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One thought on “Fish Lice

  1. frijolito designs

    Hi, my name is Fiorella, I need help with one of my goldfish pearlscale named ponyo, I found on her/ his side of the stomach some sort of an hematoma. Ponyo seems fine, and very active always making some sort of a dance and follow me to one side to the other so I could feed her, and alway stay in the surface but she is not gasping as indicator of lack of oxygen, I also bought her recently a stick that throws bubbles have a cascade filter, with The bubbles she started to eat them or something and never stopped until I turn it of… Please if you know something let me know I’m desperate

  2. Sandy Fisher

    Helping your child get higher test scores in science can be as easy as a day of fishing. Fishing is hands-on way for children to connect to important science concepts, in addition to being a great activity that can keep kids learning for a lifetime .


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