Tuberculosis in Fish

If you think that only human beings have tuberculosis —- then you better think again. Tuberculosis in fish is also common and in fact it is considered to be a very serious disease as it can affect humans too. Tuberculosis in fish is also called piscine tuberculosis, acid-fast disease and granuloma disease.

Mycobacteriosis is considered to be a worldwide distribution therefore, all fish are susceptible to this disease. However, some fish are more susceptible than others and they are neon tetras, discus, gouramis and labyrinth air breathers.

There are so many clinical signs in order for one to know if his fish is affected with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis in fish is shown with the presence of acid fast bacteria in the tissue section of the body. Gray and white nodules found in the liver, heart, kidney or spleen is also a sign of tuberculosis in fish. Tuberculosis in fish is triggered by contamination in food or by an unhealthy environment. The best way to fight tuberculosis in fish is to feed your fish with a healthy diet and make sure to keep your tank water clean.

You must also not put your wounded hand inside the water tank because this will surely bring infection in your water tank. You use long gloves and you must always sterilize your hands and arms with chlorine water if you are going to change the water in your tank too.

What are the other obvious signs and symptoms that your fish has tuberculosis?

Its eyes appearing to be cloudy or seeming to be popping out of their sockets; your fish lies on its side at the bottom part of the tank; your fish’s tummy appears to be sunken; it is starting to loss its appetite; and whitish blotches can be found on its scales.

The treatment for tuberculosis in fish is 40 grams of streptomycin and isoniazid. You can add streptomycin to your fish’s food. If you highly suspect that your fish has had tuberculosis and died, the next thing to do is to disinfect the tank. Mycobacterium are much harder to kill than other bacteria because it has a very thick wax of an outer coat. And this makes this tuberculosis strand tougher to penetrate.

Tuberculosis is very contagious and that is why it is highly advised to protect one’s self from it. It could also pose some dangers to the other fish in the tank. You must also keep your fish happy, healthy and well-fed at all times so that their immune systems are strong enough to fight off diseases. You also need to quarantine your fish especially if you think it has tuberculosis. You must keep it in a separate tank while you are observing and treating the disease.

By following these guidelines you should be able to avoid a tuberculosis infection in your fish and yourself, but here are the symptoms just so you are aware:

Skin problems – purple lesions or bumps are starting to show and if this is not treated properly, it will destroy the soft tissues under your skin.

So take care when handling your fish and their tank and water to avoid an outbreak of tuberculosis.