Scientists diagnose disease in fresh water fish

A fresh water angel fish.

A fresh water angel fish.  

R. Vimal Kumar

"Epidermal growth is found to have been caused by viral attack"

Tuticorin: The Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI), a constituent of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has diagnosed `Eptihelioma', a "peculiar" pox disease, in Pterophyllum Scalare, a `fresh water angel fish', for the first time in the state, and successfully cured it.

Speaking to The Hindu, R. Santhanam, Dean, FCRI, said the disease was recently diagnosed by a team of FCRI scientists comprising Jameson, Venkataramani and Jawahar, in about 40 fish aged between 7 and 9 months grown at an ornamental fish farm situated here.

"The disease came to our notice when the fish culturist complained about the abnormal behaviour of the angel fish in his farm, which normally fetches good price in the domestic as well as export market as an ornamental fish," he said.

On diagnosis, the institute team found epidermal projection in the snout region of the fish, covering upper and lower jaws.

Dr. Santhanam said the epidermal growth was found to have been caused by bouts of viral attack and the fish was found to be consuming very low quantity of food.

"The growth was immediately removed through surgery and `malachite green solution' having anti-microbial characteristics was applied on the snout region."

He said the treated fish was then kept under observation for a fortnight and no further growth was observed in them.

According to Dr. Santhanam, the fish usually becomes vulnerable to pox disease when living under low water temperature conditions.

Hence, fish culturists here should always maintain the water temperature between 28 and 29 degree Celsius and ensure hygienic conditions inside the farm, he said.

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