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Howdy Folks,

I'm lead to believe my Humphead has this illness. Just curious can the "Hole in the Head" illness spread from one fish to another? & does anyone know a treatment for this issue?

Cheers

Jonce.

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No treatment contrary to what some may say. My personal experience is that once it starts, you can't shift it. I've had cichlids that aren't prone to it develop it, whilst cichlids that are prone to it, do not develop it. It's not fully understood as to why it happens and high nitrates and carbon in filters are often blamed but I've had it arise with perfect water parameters.

Sometimes they muddle through with little than scarring bust most times they go off the feed and succumb slowly....................sorry.

kev

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It's a hard one really,

No one really knows what causes it,

Poor Diet, water conditions, etc will lead to a higher chance of getting it.

Mind you I've seen it in fish that have been not subjected to the previous conditions

Cav

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Would love to hear how every one else has treated it and what their degree of success has been..I lost my favourite fish to this a few years back and it still beats me up. How did your snook go in the end, Kev?

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Would love to hear how every one else has treated it and what their degree of success has been..I lost my favourite fish to this a few years back and it still beats me up. How did your snook go in the end, Kev?

He's still going mate. Appears well apart for more "scarring" appearing and having only eaten 2 feeders in 10 weeks. He takes the pellets (that he used to eat) but spits them out. As long as he looks active then I'm hoping that there'll be a turnaround. The other fish in the tank are perfect, so like I say, I don't believe that water parameters are the real cause. I'm convinced that it's something to do with an individual fish's (not species) susceptibility to it................something like one kid in a family may get an illness for no apparent reason, whilst his/her siblings don't.

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A little background info on fish might help identify the possible cause.

The first physical symptom will be lateral line erosion, the lateral line is sensory organ and prolonged stress in my opinion is the cause so eliminating the cause of stress is all that is needed. More often then not people don't realize the fish is having problems until they see the holes, by then there is a good chance there may be heximita in or around the holes. Heximita is not the cause of the holes and the presence of holes does not automatically mean there is hexamita present. If a couple of small holes is all you can see then improve it living conditions and diet and watch for any new symptoms like white/clear stringy poo, both eyes having white ring around them or looking bug eyed, or if the holes really open up and start spreading quickly. If any of these symptoms arise then the fishes has picked up an infection that will most likely need meds.

Lateral line erosion and hole in the head in my understanding is not contagious but the secondary diseases the weak fish may contract usually are mainly through ingestion of infected poo or dead tank mate.

Ciao

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Yep tutters, it's a strange one. The majority of images that I've seen of HITH show pin pricks and only in advanced cases do they show anything worse.

My snook has no lateral line erosion and simply started with this:

snooky.jpg

The marks I at first assumed to be scarring from banging the lids

A few months later, similar marks appeared around the jaw so i put it down to HITH:

snookie-1.jpg

The marks are now halfway along his head with no appearance of an open wound or infection, but they're definitely increasing in number

As you can see. No lateral line erosion but "scarring" now showing under the jaw and around the eyes. It doesn't look like "classic" HITH that I've seen before, but I can only assume it is, seeing as I have no other explanation

snookie.jpg

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Some will say that metro is the only med that will treat HITH. using this in conjunction with soaking food with epsom salts, improving water quality and the quality of food can make a difference but I dont think you can get a 100% cure on this.

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BidKev - great photos to help others see what happens - thanks for posting them.

I had some Blue Rams that got that disease (one after the other) and at the time was hard to find decent pics. Mine was like yours - just those marks on the head - then they went all dark and finally I had to destroy them as I could not stand the suffering. Great pix even though sad to see a sick fish.

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Hi Jonce, It looks like HITH to me. The main reason a fish gets this is because its Auto-Immune System has been compromised and reduced to the point where the fish will be unable to "fight" against bacterial infection. There are many reasons which will cause the Auto-Immune System to reduce in a fish including old age, diet,water quality (nitrite levels above 10 PPM,too high TDS,incorrect PH/KH,etc),Organ disease,parasites or just Stress.

HITH is commonly called "lateral line disease" and will show as erosion or holes on the body of the fish before affecting the head but this can be difficult to see with the naked-eye because of the increased slime-coat in the area in responce to the bacterial attack and often the first easily visible sign is the pimples on the head.

Succesful treatment of this depends on the infection responsible and if it is FishMycobacterium there is no treatment that will work and the fish is doomed. If it is parasitic like Spironucleus/Hexamita or Cryptobia Iubilans treatment with Metronidazole and an antibacterial like Aquafuran or Nifurpirinol can work but you have to address the cause of the loss of the Auto-Immune System. Try to feed your fish a better and more varied diet which includes more vegetable and algae (spirulina) and never feed with beefheart. Vitamin boosted foods will also help.Increasing the "health"of your water will help as well as will reducing any stress issues.

Cheers Loachlover.

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I have to agree with DFF on this one. I have just had some geos that had it and placed Katapang(indian almond leaves) in their tank to soften the water. Now whether it be coincidence or actual treating it the HITH has disapeared in one and almost completely gone in the other.

Could be worth a try.

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