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Gill Maggot - Ergasilus

The Gill maggot lays twin egg sacs (around 1.5mm).

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It is only the female that attacks fish, the male stays in the plankton swarm.

It is mainly a gill infection, but I have seen ergasilus on skin and fins.

The best way to describe this infection is that it looks like half-dead anchor worm. In fact, in the gills, that's just what it looks like.

The symptoms are very similar to gill fluke infection.

Infection is transported between sexually mature adults on fish (quarantine). Also by adding native fish to a pond, from a bag of water and net used at side of a bank (mainly lake). Also the nauplii can be transported in bags of live food.

You would be surprised how many fish keepers buy these little bags of live food to add to their ponds. No wonder garden centres can get away with selling tonic salt.

It can also be carried via birds bathing in a waterfall where your pond is near a fishing lake.

Ergasilus responds very poorly to treatments. In fact I fine it very hard to treat, as death is mainly by ergasilus digesting the epithelial cells in the gills, and allowing secondary infections to develop such as columnaris, or fungus. Treatment of either of these will have no affect on ergasilus and you cannot treat one without the other.

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