Velvet Disease In Guppies (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention)

Despite the fact that the term seems beautiful and elegant, velvet illness is a highly hazardous ailment. It attacks the fish tank’s residents and does the majority of the damage before the owner recognizes anything is amiss and gets a diagnosis.

This condition is deadly, but it is also quite straightforward to treat. The majority of treatments may be performed in the privacy of your own home!

If your guppy has velvet illness, you don’t have to be concerned about its health or safety; you have come to the correct site, and I am going to walk you through the best approach to treat your fish. I’ll also tell you what precautions you can take to keep your guppies from catching it in the first place.

What exactly is the Velvet Disease?

Before beginning therapy, it is critical to identify and comprehend the nature of the condition.

To begin, velvet illness is caused by a parasite called Oodinium, which causes yellowish or goldish scales all over the guppy fish’s body. These yellow or goldish spots give the impression of velvet, hence the name velvet disease. It is also known as gold dust sickness or rust, in addition to the velvet illness.

Velvet Disease

If your fish is affected by this disease, it is important to note that all the parasites and diseases that your fish might contract are already inside the fish tank, ready to strike whenever they notice that the immune system has been compromised. So if anything, you should be worried about what weakened the immune system of your guppy fish, and not how the disease got inside the fish tank.

Causes of Velvet Disease

Now you know that the velvet disease is caused by a parasite that already exists in the fish tank and strikes whenever the guppy fish’s immune system is compromised. So the only real reason for this disease is the weakening of the immune system.

Causes Of Velvet Disease

Poor Water Quality

Poor water quality is the leading reason for weak immune systems in guppy fishes. Generally, the worse the water quality of your fish tank is, the more likely it is for your fish to catch diseases like velvet or gold dust disease.

If the water has excess ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. The fish’s immune system is affected, as excess ammonia can cause ammonia poisoning. You can check the ammonia in your fish tank’s water by using ammonia testing kits.

Poor Diet

Having a poor diet can also cause velvet disease. Guppies are omnivores and as a result, require nutrients from both meat and vegetables.

A poor diet does not necessarily mean being underfed; it means not having the nutrients required by a fish to be healthy. The best feed available for guppies is ringworms, flakes, or freeze-dried meat.

A poor diet can affect your guppy fish’s immune system and they can get weak and prone to diseases like velvet disease.


Injuries are another reason for your fish contracting the velvet disease. When your fish is injured, the immune system gets weakened; curing and healing the wounds. This weakened immune system encourages the Londinium parasite to strike.

Secondly, parasites and bacteria often enter your guppy’s body through the wounds. And since the immune system is already compromised, the parasite or disease will grow and your fish will get sick.

Adding New Fishes

Adding new fish or ornaments to your fish tank is the only way new parasites enter your fish tank. since foreign guppy fishes can carry diseases and they might take time to show obvious signs of illnesses, the diseases can spread.

What are the Symptoms of Velvet in Guppies?

Velvet disease can seriously harm your guppy fish so you should always keep an eye out for symptoms of velvet disease.

Symptoms Of Velvet

Luckily, the symptoms of velvet disease are easy to spot and can not be mistaken for any other disease, this is due to the fact that it produces goldish marks on the fish’s scale. Therefore, velvet disease is very easy to spot and treat so there is a good chance that your guppy fish survives it.

Goldish/Yellow Spots

First and foremost, the most obvious symptom of the velvet disease; goldish or yellowish spots on your guppy fish’s skin.

These goldish or yellowish spots give a velvet appearance, hence the name. if you notice this on your fish, remove them immediately from the fish tank and place them in a quarantine tank.

Rubbing Against Things

Now to the symptom, you are likely to notice first. If you have noticed an infection on your guppy fish, so has the guppy. As a result, it will try anything It can to get rid of it. This includes rubbing against things.

If you notice your fish rubbing against things, it is a sign of a fungal or parasitical infection, so look out for other symptoms.

Difficulty Breathing

If your guppy is facing difficulty breathing, it probably has the velvet disease. This is because its immune system will cause your fish’s breathing to slow down, as it is fighting the disease.

If you notice quick movement in your fish’s gills, or your fish is gasping. It is a sign of velvet disease; you should remove it from the main tank to avoid other fish from contracting it and to begin treatment.


When your guppies are ill with the velvet disease, you might begin to notice laziness and lethargy. You might also notice that your fish is spending time alone in the same spot. If this concerns you, turn the lights off and shine a torch or a flashlight toward the fish.  If you notice shiny golden patches on your fish’s scales, it has contracted the velvet or gold dust disease.

Loss of Appetite

If your fish has contracted the velvet disease, you might begin to notice a loss in its appetite. 

Although this Is a sign of many other things, it can surely mean your fish has the velvet disease too. Being ill will encourage your fish to skip meals, so don’t ignore your fish losing their appetite.

Loss of appetite also further weakens the immune system as your body will not be receiving the nutrients it requires. This weakened immune system will further deteriorate the health of your guppy.

What Stages will the Symptoms of Velvet be In?

Velvet in guppy is a very dangerous disease and can prove to be fatal if not taken care of quickly. On the positive side of things though, curing velvet in guppies is as easy as identifying it.

Just follow these steps, and your guppy will be fine in no time!

  1. Quarantine Your Fish: The first thing that you are going to want to do is take your infected fish out of your main fish tank and place it in a quarantine (or hospital) fish tank. this will ensure that the disease does not spread and you can give the required medications only to the fish in need.
  2. Change The Water: Changing the water will remove any ammonia or nitrates. This will also get rid of any extra parasites in your fish tank and will make it pure. Just make sure the new water temperature is not too different from the fish tank as a sudden change in water parameters will cause shock and may be fatal for your fish.
  3. Raise The Temperature Of The Water: Although fishes love staying in colder water, sometimes you have to change the water parameters. Also, make sure you change the temperature gradually as a sudden change in temperature will shock the guppies and they might die.
  4. Add Aquarium Salt: You can get aquarium salt from any vet near you or from Amazon. Aquarium salt will help your fish regain its strength so that it can heal quicker.
    read the instructions on the back of the box to add the right amount of aquarium salt.
  5. Switch The Lights Off Oodinium(the parasite that causes velvet or gold dust disease) is photosynthetic, which means that they require light for strength and to survive.
    so obviously, switching the lights off will weaken the parasite and it will make it very easy for your guppy fish’s immune system to counter Oodinium and cure it.

Following the aforementioned steps will ensure that your fish is healthy again, these steps are very easy, however, if you try to cure it in the later stages, it will do no good, so you have to act super-fast if you want your guppy fish to survive.

How do you prevent Velvet in Guppies?

Despite the fact that the velvet disease is very dangerous, prevention is way easier and you only need to take a few easy measures to avoid this disease. Preventing a disease is always better than curing it. There are a lot of easy measures that can be taken to avoid the velvet disease from happening.

Causes Of Velvet Disease

Quarantining New Fish

Quarantining any new fish that you purchase is always wise, this is due to the fact that the fish might be carrying diseases. That might take some time to show clear signs.

As a result, It is recommended that you quarantine new fish for at least 2 weeks before putting them in the main fish tank, so that if any medical assistance is required for your fish, you might be able to help them.

Ensuring a Healthy Diet

As I mentioned above guppies are omnivores and require a diet of meat and vegetables. Therefore, it is up to you to ensure a healthy diet for them.

A good diet means a stronger immune system. A strong immune system can easily combat diseases like velvet disease.

The Bottom Line on Velvet Disease In Guppies

Velvet disease is a dangerous disease and can be fatal for your guppies. It is very easy to identify and even easier to cure.

However, as I said above, it is always better to prevent these diseases from happening in the first place, as opposed to curing them when most of the damage is done. It is up to you to keep your fish healthy and well-fed. Happy fishkeeping!

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