Cherry Barb Growing New Tail?

Anniestells

Member

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Hello again, back about my barbs :,) I recently had a female lose a fin. In several hours it was completely gone. No nipping, I believe it was Columnaris. Moved her and my male barb to a hospital tank, treated them for 2 weeks and finally added them back once my female started showing new growth on her tail and active improvement (eating again, producing waste, swimming a lot, etc) I was intrigued by the idea of her entire tail growing back, but since I’ve never seen this in another fish I’m not quite sure what’s happening. I saw tiny rods that form the structure of the fin start to grow, and now suddenly it looks very different?? Is this new flesh growing in at the base of the tail, or infection? I can’t possibly imagine this being another infection, considering I treated with products that kill fungus, and no one else in my tank has shown any odd symptoms.
 

FishGirl38

Member
This is another infection, and It DOES look like columnaris as well - Dang thing is persistent, I've lost an entire stock of guppy to columnaris. It's also not a fungus, and is actually a fast-acting, gram-negative bacteria.

Its good that the other fish in your tank are doing great though. This means that likely, a few of your barbs were stressed for some unknown reason and the columnaris was able to infect them, but your other fish are able to avoid the infection with their strong immune systems. I'd keep up on water changes, now more than ever. (to dilute bacterial numbers and keep tank at optimal parameters so infection doesn't break out in other fish, columnaris is hard to eradicate once it infects), and move this one (at least) back to QT for treatment.

Make sure you completely go through the entire run of meds (don't stop once you notice the infection gone, use as directed). Sometimes, especially with these types of bacteria, they can actually grow/gain a resistance to medications if they're dosed lightly first, and then dosed heavily. (the heavy dosage doesn't affect them as well the second time as it would have had it been dosed heavily/properly the first time-some build resistance in this way).

What was the medication you used to treat them first? I would recommend something like Minocycline (myracin 2) or tetracycline (if you can find it). Regardless of what you use, you'll want it to primarily target gram-negative bacteria. and if you notice it's not working at all after dosing midway or 3/4 through, start looking for another type of med with diff active ingredients. I would stick with gram-negative. I'm almost positive this is gram negative (if it's fast acting, its surely gram-neg), but you could try to switch to a gram-positive med. (though I'm thinking that won't do any good either.)
 
  • Thread Starter

Anniestells

Member
FishGirl38 said:
This is another infection, and It DOES look like columnaris as well - Dang thing is persistent, I've lost an entire stock of guppy to columnaris. It's also not a fungus, and is actually a fast-acting, gram-negative bacteria.

Its good that the other fish in your tank are doing great though. This means that likely, a few of your barbs were stressed for some unknown reason and the columnaris was able to infect them, but your other fish are able to avoid the infection with their strong immune systems. I'd keep up on water changes, now more than ever. (to dilute bacterial numbers and keep tank at optimal parameters so infection doesn't break out in other fish, columnaris is hard to eradicate once it infects), and move this one (at least) back to QT for treatment.

Make sure you completely go through the entire run of meds (don't stop once you notice the infection gone, use as directed). Sometimes, especially with these types of bacteria, they can actually grow/gain a resistance to medications if they're dosed lightly first, and then dosed heavily. (the heavy dosage doesn't affect them as well the second time as it would have had it been dosed heavily/properly the first time-some build resistance in this way).

What was the medication you used to treat them first? I would recommend something like Minocycline (myracin 2) or tetracycline (if you can find it). Regardless of what you use, you'll want it to primarily target gram-negative bacteria. and if you notice it's not working at all after dosing midway or 3/4 through, start looking for another type of med with diff active ingredients. I would stick with gram-negative. I'm almost positive this is gram negative (if it's fast acting, its surely gram-neg), but you could try to switch to a gram-positive med. (though I'm thinking that won't do any good either.)
Wow this was such a helpful reply, thank you so much!! I treated fully with Kanaplex and Jungle Fungus Clear tablets. I’m a little concerned about having just the single lady in my hospital tank as I know schooling fish are likely to stress when kept away from others- how long would I keep her in there? Would she be ok on her own for that long?
 

FishGirl38

Member
I would think the stress from being alone is lesser than the stress from having an infected tail. Its true that schooling fish will stress when kept alone but, I would give her some hiding area's in the QT and hope for the best. It's hard to say how long, I would wait until the infection is gone and she has almost completely re-grown her tail (or the wound has sealed/healed). Once the infection hits the fleshy part, after the tail, it's hard to say whether or not it will grow back at all. I would like to think she'd be okay that long without school mates, I've seen schooling fish hang out at the store alone for sometime before added to a tank with others and been alright. I would worry more about the infection, if she isn't quarantined (or treated) the infection is bound to get worse. Least, if it's columnaris, and I'm in agreeance that It looks to be.

Kanaplex was a good buy, as it's gram-negative, but the shtick with kanaplex is that it's works better when it's ingested, seachem sells a binding agent called focus that is meant to be used with kanaplex in these cases but, this is an external infection. If it went away and then came back, Its hard to say whether or not the kanaplex indeed killed it off, or if it merely weakened it so that it could reinfect once she was back inside the main tank.

I would say, if you think kanaplex killed it off completely, and it was her addition back into the tank that allowed the bacteria to reinfect, than it'd be alright to try kanaplex again.

But if you're not sure if the bacteria was totally gone when you added her back into the main tank, than I might switch the active ingredient to something different. I'm wishing you luck, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But hopefully we caught it early enough that it can be eradicated. *fingers crossed*.
 
  • Thread Starter

Anniestells

Member
FishGirl38 said:
I would think the stress from being alone is lesser than the stress from having an infected tail. Its true that schooling fish will stress when kept alone but, I would give her some hiding area's in the QT and hope for the best. It's hard to say how long, I would wait until the infection is gone and she has almost completely re-grown her tail (or the wound has sealed/healed). Once the infection hits the fleshy part, after the tail, it's hard to say whether or not it will grow back at all. I would like to think she'd be okay that long without school mates, I've seen schooling fish hang out at the store alone for sometime before added to a tank with others and been alright. I would worry more about the infection, if she isn't quarantined (or treated) the infection is bound to get worse. Least, if it's columnaris, and I'm in agreeance that It looks to be.

Kanaplex was a good buy, as it's gram-negative, but the shtick with kanaplex is that it's works better when it's ingested, seachem sells a binding agent called focus that is meant to be used with kanaplex in these cases but, this is an external infection. If it went away and then came back, Its hard to say whether or not the kanaplex indeed killed it off, or if it merely weakened it so that it could reinfect once she was back inside the main tank.

I would say, if you think kanaplex killed it off completely, and it was her addition back into the tank that allowed the bacteria to reinfect, than it'd be alright to try kanaplex again.

But if you're not sure if the bacteria was totally gone when you added her back into the main tank, than I might switch the active ingredient to something different. I'm wishing you luck, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But hopefully we caught it early enough that it can be eradicated. *fingers crossed*.
I’m so sorry about the loss of your guppies, I’ve already lost two of my barbs to this horrible infection and assumed that the month period of healthy fish afterwards was a sign of it being eradicated. I’ll definitely take your advice and move her into the QT. I’ll add some minimal decorations and such, and treat with Kanaplex. Follow through with that treatment and if she still doesn’t improve them I’ll do another round of the Jungle Fungus Clear.

I’ll update you with a reply to this thread on what ends up happening- hopefully I’ll be the bearer of good news and the mum of an impressively radiant little cherry barb girl!

I really appreciate all the help :,)
 
  • Thread Starter

Anniestells

Member
FishGirl38 said:
I would think the stress from being alone is lesser than the stress from having an infected tail. Its true that schooling fish will stress when kept alone but, I would give her some hiding area's in the QT and hope for the best. It's hard to say how long, I would wait until the infection is gone and she has almost completely re-grown her tail (or the wound has sealed/healed). Once the infection hits the fleshy part, after the tail, it's hard to say whether or not it will grow back at all. I would like to think she'd be okay that long without school mates, I've seen schooling fish hang out at the store alone for sometime before added to a tank with others and been alright. I would worry more about the infection, if she isn't quarantined (or treated) the infection is bound to get worse. Least, if it's columnaris, and I'm in agreeance that It looks to be.

Kanaplex was a good buy, as it's gram-negative, but the shtick with kanaplex is that it's works better when it's ingested, seachem sells a binding agent called focus that is meant to be used with kanaplex in these cases but, this is an external infection. If it went away and then came back, Its hard to say whether or not the kanaplex indeed killed it off, or if it merely weakened it so that it could reinfect once she was back inside the main tank.

I would say, if you think kanaplex killed it off completely, and it was her addition back into the tank that allowed the bacteria to reinfect, than it'd be alright to try kanaplex again.

But if you're not sure if the bacteria was totally gone when you added her back into the main tank, than I might switch the active ingredient to something different. I'm wishing you luck, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But hopefully we caught it early enough that it can be eradicated. *fingers crossed*.
Hey, bad and unfortunate news. My girl was looking really good and I went on an overnight. Less than 24 hrs between seeing her and the fungus had spread about a half inch across her body, and she cannot swim. One of my Cory cats died, with nothing visibly wrong with him- he was behaving normally before I left too. I did a 50% water change and removed the dead fish. I have no idea what I should do next. I feel like physically my barb will not recover (she could have grown back her tail, but not her entire back half). Would euthanizing her be the best/most humane thing to do? Another one of my barbs looks like his back is sort of crooked oddly too.

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I feel so terrible and guilty about this because when I got these fish they were stressed and living poorly. 6 months of happiness in my tank until I added the cats and now practically everyone has died. Fish keeping was never this sad of an experience before. I’m starting to wonder if I should just return all of the healthy fish in this tank to the store and let it cycle again for several months before putting anything in
 

FishGirl38

Member
Columnaris is not a fungus. Although it does appear like a fungus, it's not, and is actually a gram negative bacteria. It's possible there is a secondary fungal infection. But if your water quality is optimal, this technically shouldn't be the case.

Columnaris actually has a common name, it's usually dubbed the 'guppy disease' or 'saddle back disease'. The reason for the name, is usually, the infection starts at the fish's middle, and eats around their abdomen to create what looks like a saddle. In other fish (not guppy) columnaris at the tail or mouth is more common, but it can radiate any way it pleases.

What are you water parameters reading? Your ammonia and nitrite are low? Nitrate between 5-40ppm? Has your PH been regular (non-changing)? It's odd to have something pass away for no reason at all, but I've also had the same thing happen to me.

Personally, I would do my best to work with what I have. Essentially, tearing the tank down and restarting it may get rid of the bacterial infection you're dealing with now, but you very well could run into the same problem later down the road (not of any fault of your own), because bacteria are so common in the aquarium, it's hard to totally eradicate it. You could go ahead with that plan, but I'm worried it might cause you more hassle, but that's just my personal opinion.

I'm not sure if your cherry is able to recover, I would like to believe it can, but I honestly haven't seen a fish bounce back from an infection like this. I'm sorry to say that, I would believe she CAN, but the bacteria has progressed and is getting stronger as it does. If you choose to euthanize, most individuals use clove oil as a means to 'put them to sleep' without much distress. :(. (clove oil can be used as a fish sedative when diluted enough, when not diluted enough, it will put them in a coma like state, and they will pass).
 
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