Symptoms of Hexamita
The first symptom of hexamita is the presense of a slimy white mucus in the feces of the infected fish. The fish may act completely normal and have no change in eating behavior. Other symptoms may become apparent as the disease progresses. Some of these symptoms include a tendency to hide in nooks and crannies with the head down, a thinning of the head right above the eyes, darkening coloration and backwards swimming. Eventually a loss of appetite and overall effect of "wasting away" will become apparent.
Because Hexamita are not visible to the naked eye and are found inside the lower intestinal tract of the infected fish, close attention to the symotoms of the fish is the best way to diagnose a Heximita infection. Hexamita are flagellated protozoa and attack the walls of the lower intestinal tract. Large cichlids such as Oscar Fish and Discus are more subsceptible to hexamita infection that other smaller fish.
Treatment of Hexamita
A multipronged treatment is suggested. Both the water and the food should be treated with metronidazole. To treat the food, soak it in the metronidazole prior to feeding. Treatment should be repeated every other day for 4 days.