Argulus or fish lice are parasites of fish from the class of crustaceans Branchira family. These parasites get into the aquarium usually through a live feed. There are about 30 known species Argulus. Two of them, which is often found foliatus and Argulus Argulus japonicus. The parasitic nature tend to be temporary Argulus. They mancari host randomly and can move freely in the body of the fish or even leave it. Argulus known to berahan for several days outside the body of the fish
Argulus attached to the fish using a special suction device. Furthermore, these animals will stick the needle in the body of the fish’s mouth to inject anti-coagulant blood. Only then will these parasites consume the blood of its host. Argulus usually mate in open water. Argulus female can produce 100 eggs or more were pinned on a solid surface. The eggs will hatch within 25 days.
Each eggs generally hatch at different times. Larvae Argulus with the size of 0.6 mm are planktonic before finally attacking fish. These larvae will change its skin for 8 times before reaching adult size 3 – 3.5 mm. It takes place within 5 weeks. Argulus attack rate is highly dependent on the size and number of individual fish parasites that attack. However, often do not pose a threat of death to the fish in question.
However, its pain, can become vulnerable fterhadap bacterial and fungal diseases. In severe attacks the fish can lose a lot of blood, or also experience osmotic stress due to the gaping wounds so that it is possible in very severe attack can cause death. Argulus is known to also be a vector of other diseases. Argulus injure the skin in order to get his victims’ blood so often raises red bruise on the former “bite”.
In addition to these signs, the presence of the parasite itself can be easily seen with the naked eye in the form of transparent spherical creatures flat with a diameter of 5-12 mm. A pair of eye spots can be seen in the head. Argulus sp can be seen in Figure 15.
Figure 15. Argulus sp
Fish may become restless, gliding to and fro, or sometimes jump out of the water surface; and rubbing his body on the bottom of the aquarium or decorations and other objects. Severe attacks can cause fish even become lazy, loss of appetite, and colors beruabah becoming opaque as a result of excessive mucus production. The fish were plastered Argulus sp can be seen in Figure 16.
Figure 16. Fish plastered Argulus sp