Tropical Fish – Cotton Mouth Disease


If you’ve a tropical aquarium at home then it is beneficial for you to know about – cotton mouth disease. When this disease spreads in your tank fishes are likely to die within 24-48 hours. One thing to note here is that this disease is extremely contagious, it can quickly pass from one fish to another infecting entire tank in matter of few hours.

Cause of Cotton Mouth Disease

This disease appears because of the bacterial infection which is quite common among tropical fish. Depending on the amount of overcrowding and level of oxygen this disease is likely to occur in your tank. If you’ve purchased infected or sick fish then this disease is meant to spread in your tank. Bacteria attaches itself to fish’s mouth or enters into their body through any cut or wound.

Symptoms of Cotton Mouth

Following are the symptoms of cotton mouth disease.

  • Frayed and Ragged fins
  • Pale sores
  • Color change of gills
  • Breathing Trouble

If these signs appear then fishes are likely to die after 24 hour onwards.

Tropical Fish – Cotton Mouth Disease

  • First thing to do with cotton moth infected fish is to quarantine them. Note: You should always keep new fish in quarantine tank to avoid such diseases.
  • Once you isolate fish in quarantine tank, give it food that contains oxytetracycline in it. This antibiotic kills the bacteria and will treat your fish against infection.
  • Change the water in the tank from where you isolated the fish. Make sure to change the water of quarantine tank as well so that infection from either side doesn’t spread with bad water.

Sometimes it is very difficult to recognize these symptoms and signs. I suggest you to take a look at some fish disease books and pictures so that you can understand fish illness/sickness signs easily.

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