Dizzy From Research, Help For Sick Neons Please.

Kcakes

Member

20190912_162306.jpg
Hi, new member here, first post. What do I do now?? I had my first aquarium cycled, planted and stocked successfully for about 5 weeks. Then, my tank (60 g.) got ich from adding another glass catfish.
That fish died and spots on some glofish, but treatment successful.
But then I noticed white fuzz growing on one of my 15 neons. Was told probably fungus so I used pimafix about a week, no change in Fuzzface. Tried melafix about a week and another neon got a Hitler mustache, and fin whitening on another.
I set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank and did erythromycin for 4 days...nope, tried furan2 for 8 doses and some fuzz fell off but I think it's also still growing! So, I tried 3 T. Salt in tank for 2 days. Today I did three 50% water changes over three hours to remove salt. I've ordered some kanaplex and metroplex. Can anyone tell me now what? Thanks
 

Dunk2

Member
How often were you doing water changes before all this started?
 
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Kcakes

Member
In my 60 g. I did 25% once a week. My quarantine tank was changed as per medication instructions. (The 25% after each two days of dosing ).
 

SM1199

Member
Methylene blue is always the go-to with fungal infections and is definitely safer (in my opinion) than quite a few other meds. Erythro, furan 2, kanaplex, and metroplex are antibiotics (kill bacteria), not antifungals (kill fungus), and you need something that will kill fungus. All the "fix"es usually aren't that great (though sometimes okay against some bacteria).
 

Wolf010

Member
Welcome to fishlore!!!
 

A201

Member
The problem might be Neon Tetra disease. Really no cure for it. The fungus is likely a secondary infection.
 
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Kcakes

Member
When the pimafix didn't work, I assumed the problem was not fungus but bacterial and that's when I started trying antibiotics. Maybe the pimafix just wasn't strong enough? I could try methelyene blue.
Can you make out on my pic if it looks more like a fungus than columnaris?
 

Sheldon13

Member
Looks like a fungus to me...
 
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Kcakes

Member
Well, methylene blue here I come. I'll look up how to do that. Is the salt treatment helpful at all ?
 

mattgirl

Member
If you want to do just a little more research you may want to read this thread on using potassium permanganate.

It is written by one of our very successful Ram breeders. If I am remembering correctly he even got rid of an outbreak of columnaris with it.
 
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Kcakes

Member
A201 said:
The problem might be Neon Tetra disease. Really no cure for it. The fungus is likely a secondary infection.
Acts normal tho. And color is good.

mattgirl said:
If you want to do just a little more research you may want to read this thread on using potassium permanganate.

It is written by one of our very successful Ram breeders. If I am remembering correctly he even got rid of an outbreak of columnaris with it.
A few months ago I read about this and could not find in big box stores, pool supply, pet supply and didn't want to do online from China. I used the eBay link you gave tho and just bought some. I'll definitely get my hubby to do the math tho. I've already OD'ed my fish with stupid math skills. Fortunately, it was only melafix, but POND melafix ! Quick water changes and all was well.
 

mattgirl

Member
Kcakes said:
A few months ago I read about this and could not find in big box stores, pool supply, pet supply and didn't want to do online from China. I used the eBay link you gave tho and just bought some. I'll definitely get my hubby to do the math tho. I've already OD'ed my fish with stupid math skills. Fortunately, it was only melafix, but POND melafix ! Quick water changes and all was well.
I just bought the little 28gram bottle of it. I poured all of it into a 500ml amber glass bottle with 400mls distilled water in it. The only thing I had to measure was the 400mls of DW. Made it very simple for me.

I am getting more comfortable with using this product. In fact I added 6 drops of the mixture to my 5.5 gallon tank before doing the water change this morning. I feel like the one drop per gallon is a safe dose for just general maintenance. I won't be doing it weekly but feel like once a month will help keep my tanks healthy. I was concerned about it killing the bacteria on my sponge filter but since it is a dual sponge filter I just replace one of them with a well seeded sponge from one of my other tanks so I am not concerned about losing my cycle.

I plan on doing the same for my 55 gallon tank tomorrow. I am nervous about it but reading and re-reading coralbandit 's thread has given me the confidence to do it safely. I will turn off my filters though and just run airstones during the treatment period.
 

coralbandit

Member
Welcome . Sorry you got sick fish and I have little good news .
For any treatment to work any clearly infected fish should be euthanized first .
I would not be expecting ;
A fish as sick as the one whose mouth is infected to heal / recoup .
Or for other fish to be safe from infection with the clearly infected fish present in the tank with them .
To be certain you get that infection out of your tank any fish with symptoms should be removed [euthanized] .
It is documented in many cases that fish 'recovering' from bacterial infection can often become sub clinical carriers of the disease infecting any other fish around them ..
You should still treat the tank as the disease is as active as ever AFTER you remove the sickest fish .This is the only way to get past the infection and offer future fish a chance ..
Most articles on columnaris say 32 day life cycle with no host [that is 32 days in just water, no fish] but the catfish industry now considers it an annual issue meaning it is gaining strength and life expectancy ..
Again sorry ..
 
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Kcakes

Member
That sure isn't good news but I have a hope still it is not columnaris but fungal as some have suggested. I know Fuzzface got advanced before I caught on to it but maybe if I treat with the methylene blue and it works that will tell me it wasn't bacterial? They have been in a hospital tank for almost 3 weeks and all fish in my main aquarium are still fine. Fingers crossed!
 

mattgirl

Member
Kcakes said:
That sure isn't good news but I have a hope still it is not columnaris but fungal as some have suggested. I know Fuzzface got advanced before I caught on to it but maybe if I treat with the methylene blue and it works that will tell me it wasn't bacterial? They have been in a hospital tank for almost 3 weeks and all fish in my main aquarium are still fine. Fingers crossed!
I have mine crossed for you too
 
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Kcakes

Member
mattgirl said:
I have mine crossed for you too
Good morning.. had a terrible thought this am. I knew to remove any carbon in hob hospital tank but should I have removed ceramic rings too and just aerated during medication?
 

mattgirl

Member
Removing the carbon is recommended because it will remove the medication. Some medications will kill the bacteria and in those cases it might be best to remove your bio-media. I don't know whether MB will do that.

Since this is a hospital tank it might have been better not to take a chance and gone ahead and removed the bio-media but if you didn't it will be too late to do so now. Let's hope MB doesn't kill bacteria.

Just running an airstone should be sufficient for the few days the fish are going to be in the hospital tank.

All of this is a learning experience. You will have this information should you face this same situation in the future.
 
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Kcakes

Member
mattgirl said:
Removing the carbon is recommended because it will remove the medication. Some medications will kill the bacteria and in those cases it might be best to remove your bio-media. I don't know whether MB will do that.

Since this is a hospital tank it might have been better not to take a chance and gone ahead and removed the bio-media but if you didn't it will be too late to do so now. Let's hope MB doesn't kill bacteria.

Just running an airstone should be sufficient for the few days the fish are going to be in the hospital tank.

All of this is a learning experience. You will have this information should you face this same situation in the future.
But for the length of the med treatments I've tried, they needed about 2 weeks so then I could use something cheap like floss and throw away? I check the tank for parameters.
I'll want to keep them in hospital for a while. I'm afraid to add any of them in main tank yet.
Are the ceramic rings I used for hospital unsafe for future use?
 

mattgirl

Member
Kcakes said:
But for the length of the med treatments I've tried, they needed about 2 weeks so then I could use something cheap like floss and throw away? I check the tank for parameters.
I'll want to keep them in hospital for a while. I'm afraid to add any of them in main tank yet.
Are the ceramic rings I used for hospital unsafe for future use?
I have never had to treat for any of the many diseases fish can get so I'm not the best at giving any kind of suggestions when it comes to these kinds of things.

I would think though if the medication you are using heals the fish then the ceramic media should still be usable. If in doubt you could boil it before adding it to another tank. Cleaning it this way should remove any kind if disease but of course will also remove all the BB.
 
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Kcakes

Member
Good to know I can boil rings and reuse.
 
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Kcakes

Member
mattgirl said:
I havhhhe never had to treat for any of the many diseases fish can get so I'm not the best at giving any kind of suggestions when it comes to these kinds of things.

I would think though if the medication you are using heals the fish then the ceramic media should still be usable. If in doubt you could boil it before adding it to another tank. Cleaning it this way should remove any kind if disease but of course will also remove all the BB.
I gave neons a meth blue dip. 3/4 teaspoon in 1/2 gallon of tank water. I thought the damaged places were supposed to stain blue. Fish look the same.
Tomorrow I'll give a second dose of kanaplex.
 

Sheldon13

Member
Kcakes said:
I gave neons a meth blue dip. 3/4 teaspoon in 1/2 gallon of tank water. I thought the damaged places were supposed to stain blue. Fish look the same.
Tomorrow I'll give a second dose of kanaplex.
I’ve never heard of that. I know it stains clear silicone blue...
 
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Kcakes

Member
Guess I just read something else on the internet contradictory.. no wonder I'm confused, huh? How long would the meth blue effect take if there would be any?
Should I repeat the dips, you think?
 

Sheldon13

Member
I couldn’t say for sure but if I had to guess I would say you should see positive effects within a couple of days. I would still continue baths for at least 5 days.
 
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Kcakes

Member
I'm using the directions on kordon bottle. 3/4 teaspoon in 1 1/2 gallon if math is right from reducing down. I literally dipped for 10 seconds or so . That probably wasn't enough time I'm thinking. I'll try to treat them again and leave in 30 minutes according to some internet articles. Do you concur?
 

Sheldon13

Member
Yes definitely leave them in longer. 15-30 minutes depending on how they are tolerating it.
 

Redshark1

Member
Sheldon13 How do you know when to stop?
 
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Kcakes

Member
I did 30 minutes today and watched them closely. They were swimming fine but nervously with no escalation of behavior so I kept up till 30 mins.
Put back in hospital tank and they were back to business as usual. I'll count this as day 1.
 

Sheldon13

Member
Redshark1 said:
Sheldon13 How do you know when to stop?
See kcakes post above
 
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Kcakes

Member
Well, I've done the meth blue baths 30 mins for 4 days and also dosed tank with kanaplex and metroplex the 4 days. Still no change!
I sadly got some clove oil today, just in case.
With all the treatments I've done over the last month, fish are still eating and active. That's why I had hope but is it time to quit?
 

Sheldon13

Member
Kcakes said:
Well, I've done the meth blue baths 30 mins for 4 days and also dosed tank with kanaplex and metroplex the 4 days. Still no change!
I sadly got some clove oil today, just in case.
With all the treatments I've done over the last month, fish are still eating and active. That's why I had hope but is it time to quit?
I’m sorry to read this. Sigh, I feel like you’ve done so much already. Maybe they are past the point of healing...
 
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Kcakes

Member
I've spent over $60 dollars trying to cure $2 fish. Especially Fuzzface is such a soldier. I can see his gills working a litte harder now and there doesn't seem to be a cure.
Hitler has now turned into a Tom selleck (mustache).
Is it foolish to try and save the two lesser infected neons? They would still maybe be carriers andinfect my main tank if they visibly improved , huh?
I could try furan 2 and kanaplex simultaneously. Some people say it doesn't work as well otherwise..
 

Redshark1

Member
Kcakes I took in a stray cat and later spent £1,000 at the vets to save its life. I don't feel bad about that. I saved money in my bank for such emergencies.

In your situation I would work on improving the living conditions for my fish, because if the fish did not have these disease symptoms at the time of purchase they have developed during your care.

Things you can work on include water quality and feeding. Pay attention to the control of feeding (neons require only half a flake each per day to maintain bodyweight), aeration of the water, correct temperature, water changes, waterplants for security etc., filtration and the usual parameters. Neons also need protecting from bullying and can be intimidated or even in fear of their lives by other fish and will not then thrive.

I noticed that you have no substrate in that photo and are
therefore excluding a valuable surface area for a huge number of beneficial bacteria.

Fish generally have lots of microbes living on them and there are many free-living in the aquatic environment waiting for a chance when the immune systems of the fish do not defend them adequately.

For their immune systems to function well they need to be in a suitable environment.

Look at what happens when a fish dies and is no longer protected by its immune system. It is soon consumed by bacteria, protozoa, fungI etc. A fish is a big banquet to microbes looking to feed and reproduce.

I've purchased Neon Tetras with disease which I believe was Columnaris and this was my approach. I lost some fish and felt terrible but many survived and recovered and I felt better then.

50% of Neon Tetra batches come with Columnaris so if you must have Neons you will come across this problem.


18.01.27 Cube Steve Joul (5) - Copy.jpg
 
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Kcakes

Member
Wow, I wasn't aware 50% of neons can have columnaris. I believe it did start at the fish store. All eleven of my other neons and other fish in my main aquarium are fine. I'm still slowly stocking my 60 gallon.
The photo is my hospital tank. There are a few plastic plants for hiding.
What did you try to successfully cure your neons?
 

Redshark1

Member
Kcakes I thought I covered it in my 3rd paragraph in post #35.

First I removed other species so the Neons had the tank to themselves and didn't have to compete with other fish.

I have created agitation/aeration at the surface by raising the filter to improve the oxygenation of the water.

I have reduced the temperature to 72F (this goes up naturally in summer though I am able to keep it at 78F or below most of the time because I keep off the lights in hot weather and rely on sunlight coming through the window).

I collect rainwater to soften the water as my tap water is hard.

I feed little and often and fed a greater variety of quality foods as Neons need very little (half a flake a day).

I do regular small water changes to replace trace elements.

I grow my plants to provide cover to give the Neons security, they know they have somewhere to hide if alarmed.


16.11.23 Neon Tetras in Cube Aquarium Steve Joul - Copy.JPG


Eventually, after 18 months, there were no more symptoms of Columnaris on my fish. I lost an average of one fish per month over this period which was disheartening but now I have a healthy tank. One other observation is that I believe that old fish may develop Columnaris in their gills shortly before they die as they can then be seen breathing rapidly (Columnaris attacks the gills as well as muscle tissue, mouth, fins etc.). The Neons now live to three years old in my aquarium.

My LFSs tell me that 50% of Neon Tetra shipments, which are all received from farms in the far east via a wholesaler, have Columnaris. Either shipments are healthy or they lose the lot. One retailer has described taking out 50 fish every morning from their stock tank before opening the shop.

French retailers were so dismayed at their losses that a scientific study was funded into Neon Tetra disease, only for the scientists to find that in nearly every case it was Columnaris that was killing their Neons.

The strain of Columnaris found does not occur in the wild but has developed in fish farms where the conditions for virulent disease development exist.

This includes densely packed individuals which allow the disease to spread between live fish as well as from dead fish to live fish (when dead fish are eaten by live fish).

Also of concern is the routine medicating of farmed fish which is leading to resistant strains of Columnaris bacteria.
 

Routhinator

Member
If you do use Methylene blue, only use in a quarantine tank.

What are your levels? I don't see them mentioned. Issues will persist if their source is not identified. If your fish are stressed, they will never get better. The tank here looks pretty barebones.. do you have enough of a biofilter?
 
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Kcakes

Member
Routhinator said:
If you do use Methylene blue, only use in a quarantine tank.

What are your levels? I don't see them mentioned. Issues will persist if their source is not identified. If your fish are stressed, they will never get better. The tank here looks pretty barebones.. do you have enough of a biofilter?

20190821_195855.jpg
this is a pic of my 60 gallon ive been stocking. Parameters for this are ph 6.3, ammonia and nitrates 0, nitrates 20, temp, 74.
My quarantine tank was seeded with substrate from this tank. And parameters are ph 6.4, ammonia and nitrate 0, nitrates also 20 . Temp 72.
 

Routhinator

Member
Kcakes said:
this is a pic of my 60 gallon ive been stocking. Parameters for this are ph 6.3, ammonia and nitrates 0, nitrates 20, temp, 74.
My quarantine tank was seeded with substrate from this tank. And parameters are ph 6.4, ammonia and nitrate 0, nitrates also 20 . Temp 72.
That should be ok, unless there's something in the tank you aren't checking for those numbers look good.
 
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Kcakes

Member
Routhinator said:
That should be ok, unless there's something in the tank you aren't checking for those numbers look good.
I think my only water problem is the ph isn't always stable. I have soft spring water to begin with but I think my large driftwood lowers it . I have to put ph up in tank when I do water changes to get it above 6. In a few days it's back down again.

Redshark1 said:
Kcakes I thought I covered it in my 3rd paragraph in post #35.

First I removed other species so the Neons had the tank to themselves and didn't have to compete with other fish.

I have created agitation/aeration at the surface by raising the filter to improve the oxygenation of the water.

I have reduced the temperature to 72F (this goes up naturally in summer though I am able to keep it at 78F or below most of the time because I keep off the lights in hot weather and rely on sunlight coming through the window).

I collect rainwater to soften the water as my tap water is hard.

I feed little and often and fed a greater variety of quality foods as Neons need very little (half a flake a day).

I do regular small water changes to replace trace elements.

I grow my plants to provide cover to give the Neons security, they know they have somewhere to hide if alarmed.


16.11.23 Neon Tetras in Cube Aquarium Steve Joul - Copy.JPG


Eventually, after 18 months, there were no more symptoms of Columnaris on my fish. I lost an average of one fish per month over this period which was disheartening but now I have a healthy tank. One other observation is that I believe that old fish may develop Columnaris in their gills shortly before they die as they can then be seen breathing rapidly (Columnaris attacks the gills as well as muscle tissue, mouth, fins etc.). The Neons now live to three years old in my aquarium.

My LFSs tell me that 50% of Neon Tetra shipments, which are all received from farms in the far east via a wholesaler, have Columnaris. Either shipments are healthy or they lose the lot. One retailer has described taking out 50 fish every morning from their stock tank before opening the shop.

French retailers were so dismayed at their losses that a scientific study was funded into Neon Tetra disease, only for the scientists to find that in nearly every case it was Columnaris that was killing their Neons.

The strain of Columnaris found does not occur in the wild but has developed in fish farms where the conditions for virulent disease development exist.

This includes densely packed individuals which allow the disease to spread between live fish as well as from dead fish to live fish (when dead fish are eaten by live fish).

Also of concern is the routine medicating of farmed fish which is leading to resistant strains of Columnaris bacteria.
Thank you for all the info.☺
 

Routhinator

Member
Kcakes said:
I think my only water problem is the ph isn't always stable. I have soft spring water to begin with but I think my large driftwood lowers it . I have to put ph up in tank when I do water changes to get it above 6. In a few days it's back down again.
Ph instability will cause illness, so that may well be your problem. Fish can withstand varied ph over long periods, but not swings.

If you are starting with soft water and adding driftwood, you may want some limestone and calcium rocks to raise the carbonite hardness (kh) and stabalise the ph
 
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