Hexamitiasis Guppy: Is This Hole In The Head Disease Fatal?

Parasitic diseases and infections affect both saltwater and freshwater fish. Hexamitiasis is one such parasitic infection that causes a hole to appear in the head of your fish. Hexamitia infections can also cause the hole in the head disease in guppy fish. In some cases, you can treat guppies with parasites before they die; but, you must act fast.

What Causes Hexamitiasis?

The primary cause of Hexamitiasis is a protozoan parasite named Hexamita. These protozoa live in the intestines and are usually harmless. When your guppy fish’s immune system weakens, it can become problematic. In such a scenario, the protozoa multiply and spread to other parts of the body. As the Hexamita protozoa spread, wounds on the bead and sides (lateral line erosion) of your guppy fish start to appear. A hole in the head can also occur when flagellates multiply out of control. Flagellates live in the fish’s intestines and consume the minerals needed by the fish. The fish then has to extract minerals from its bones. Most of their bones are in the head. Thus, the reduction in bone mass leads to what appears to be a hole in the head.

Is Hole In The Head Disease Fatal?

In most cases, a hole in the head is not fatal and can be treated. But, if left untreated, hole in the head can lead to death. Here’s how to help your guppy fish recover from hole in the head.
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How To Treat Hole In The Head Disease?

Metronidazole (Flagyl) can treat hole in the head disease. Usually, it comes as medicated fish food when trying to cure the early stages of hexamitiasis. Advance stages of hexamitiasis, where the guppies might not eat, require treating the aquarium water with the medication. Usually, 250 mg per 10 US gallons, once per day for up to three days.

How To Prevent Hexamitiasis From Reoccurring?

A balanced diet that gives your guppies needed nutrients boost their immune system. Also, ensure that the aquarium is clean and that water conditions are ideal for fish to thrive. You can use fish food as well as a mixture of vegetables and frozen food to feed your guppies. References

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