Fish bloating disease going around

Matt68046

I may have posted this before. And in fact I may have found a cure. But I'm gonna post this just to see if I can get some good feedback from pros. This is a really wonderful forum, and ill follow up tommrow with what I did to solve it (I think) as far as I know.
SO THIS DISEASE IS EVERYWHERE NOW!
Fancy bred fish are affected. Livebearers especially are affected. Tetras, common goldies, koi, any wild type fish seems somewhat immune.
Symptoms are bloating, sitting at bottom, not eating, rapid breathing, and stringy poo. I have seen it over and over on the forums. My own treatment worked, but I'm not 100% convinced that it is gone. I will happily share my findings and what worked for me with anyone that asks, as well as it is on this forums but still, This disease going around EVERYWHERE, affecting not only guppies but livebearers in general apparently . I am still looking for an answer as to what this bloating death for guppies and other livebearers ACTUALLY IS!

I even took a guppy to a vet, spent 45 dollars on an intestine smear, and he found nothing abnormal except a lot of mucus. It does not respond to normal internal parasite meds like METRONIDAZOLE......I really wish someone would ante up and chip in and send a few specimens preserved in formaldahyde to a college or zoo to get it anaylized to figure out what it is. People say, meh its nothing, when their fish are fine. It will come to them eventually. It is something very bad going around, and nobody anywhere has the answers. Anyone, especially people in the hobby for many years, I will ask do you have any insight as to what this affliction is?
 

Christo101

I don't know what it is but I have also seen it in my guppies in fact one died about 3 days ago and two of my guppies are just on the bottom not eating or really swimming around and they look bloated
 

junebug

Have you considered a mycobacterial strain? There are three strains of mycos that can survive in water and all of them can potentially infect fish (and you, I might add).

Bloating and seeming random death are common symptoms of mycobacterium.
 

Matt68046

Yes june bug ive thought about that. Only thing is, there have never been any skin lesions or open wounds. And ive hit them with both Metronidazole and Oxytetracycline. Those antibiotics should have eradicated any and all bacteria or internal parasites in the fish's body.
 

aliray

Is it possible that due to heavy use in breeding farms, that the bacteria is changing and becoming resistant to the meds? Just a thought.......Alison
 

Rivieraneo

Yes june bug ive thought about that. Only thing is, there have never been any skin lesions or open wounds. And ive hit them with both Metronidazole and Oxytetracycline. Those antibiotics should have eradicated any and all bacteria or internal parasites in the fish's body.

Oxy and metro will have little to no effect on mico. Some fish succumb to mico before any lesions appear. A definite say to identify mico would be through a necropsy and analysis of the major organs for granulomas

Matt, you may need to try a different lab for analysis.
 

Matt68046

Is it possible that due to heavy use in breeding farms, that the bacteria is changing and becoming resistant to the meds? Just a thought.......Alison

Absolutely possible. I have been hesitant to say it is mycrobacteria because they responded to an ick treatment but not several courses of antibiotics. So far, I have not lost one of my new guppies, or fry to this because I followed Shubels Treatment from some article he wrote years ago. So riveraneo, should I buy some formaldhyde and preserve a specimen if any fish come down with this again? I'm looking at like 3-4 weeks ive had these new batch of guppies, maybe the treatment did work. I was told by the vet that I should preserve a specimen and send it to a university or Zoo for analysis. Would bacteria even survive this? In order to see bacteria you would need an eclectron microscope not just a normal 400X microscope right? Bacteria would not survive formaldehyde right? The only thing I can think of locally, would be the henry dorely zoo up in Omaha..........
I pride myself on knowing diseases and how to cure them. If it was/is micro...why do they seem to respond well to Acriflavin/Malachite formalin remedy I wonder....... this is so confusing. This is the last hurdle in the guppy ailment for me BTW. In my 6 years of the hobby ive had every disease known to fishkind thrown at me, from neon tetra disease to columnaris velvet and everything thrown in between. I have GOT to figure this out. I have a bad feeling that this is just the beginning of guppy "superbugs" from the way they are inbred and are weak....but their so cute and playful its hard not to love them.
 

junebug

Yeah metro and oxy won't have much effect on mycobacterium. Kanamycin might. Sarcasm Included may have better insight, as I know he was treating his fish for mycobacterium.

One question, what ICH treatment did you use? Did it have meth blue in it?
 

Matt68046

It was shubel's treatment. It included Acriflavin/Malachite green and formalin. No food for day 1 and then only frozen food with Epsom salt 3% solution soaked and also Epsom salt in the water. It worked, and I'm happy for that at least, but I'm afraid it will keep coming back. Why do you ask about Metheylene?
 

junebug

I don't remember why I asked about the meth. blue... I had a reason though, I promise! lol. It'll come to me eventually. Very possibly it just occurred to me that meth blue carries oxygen and aids in fighting bacteria, so it might have had a small effect along with other meds in reducing mycobacterial symptoms.
 

Matt68046

Hmmmm. I'm not entirely convinced its mycobacteria tho. I'm thinking more MalawI chichlid bloat, or some other parasite, why else would and ick type medicine in the water and a laxative have success where other meds fail.
In any case all my fish are fine right now, minus one that jumped out of the tank when my 7 year old turned on the lights. She put it back in, but it was damaged and passed. ANyways, Ive got my ten gallon tank on hand to put them in if they come down with it again. I'm stopping any and all meds, and after this cube of frozen food in the fridge is gone, I'm gonna stop with the Epsom salt in their food too. I know its a weird combination to kill an internal parasite, but its the only thing that worked!
 

Sarcasm Included

Hi, sorry been a very busy week and I will probably not be around much for the next month or so.
Mycro is treated with Kanamycin(fed) and Neomycin(Tank), though I recommend using Methylene blue to help them survive till the anti-biotics take hold and to repair some of the damage that these nasties do. Junebug has seen my treatment which is why she probably remembered the Methylene blue. I am not sure that your dealing with mycro though, but if you are, you are only seeing the effects of the epsom salt alleviating the symptoms. Kinda like when my brother in law, whom just had surgery on his leg was walking around till the meds wore off. Mycobacteria can not be treated with metro or oxy, in fact they make things much worse. They kill off other bacteria that it competes with, thus allowing it to grow faster.

I am curious why your live bearers would be effected most, it would make me question the hardness of your water. If your water is soft, they would have difficulties and be highly susceptible to diseases. In addition, adding the epsom salt would increase the hardness of the water, allowing them to fight off infection.

I don't think this is a parasite, but it is, you might consider using Qunine Sulphate if your PH is below 7.5. This will be milder on the fish that have already been stressed with treatments.

I would give them a salt bath to end your treatments for now and see how things progress.
 

Matt68046

No I live in Nebraska, my water comes from limestone aquifer it is very hard and alkaline 200-250 or higher and my ph is like 8.4 out of the tap and settles to 7.8 in an established aquarium. I have never had this problem with my guppies before. A lot of people seem to be having this problem with them. Right now their acting fine, I did a big 40% change last night on their 30 long tank to get rid of any medicine or salt left and to lower the hardness. My wife says that the guppies at the stores look very skinny, which is kind of the same problem I have with mine IF they live past the first few weeks then they get emancipated. Petsmart near my house, use to have TONS of beautiful guppies pure bred and kept separate, she has not seen ANY guppies the last 4 months. Petco, will sometimes have very nice guppies, and sometimes sickly ones that are skinny and tails UP like no stomach. This has to be some kind of Guppy PLAUGE going around, super bug. I can't figure out just by the symptoms, and taking them to the vet he said he saw no worms or Hexitima in their gut but a lot of mucus. So it could be some drug resistant bacteria or virus, I'm just wondering why the Acriflaving/MG combo worked while Powerful antibiotics (Oxytetracycline) did not. Terramycin is my go to drug in the guppy hobby and has been the last 5 years, I have not see anything it will not cure.....
I guess I am just repeating myself. I hear what you said and appreciate very much your imput. I am not ignoring your feedback, just that my water is in fact very hard and alkaline, and also we are seeing this problem with guppies all over the world. I am a member of several FB groups on guppies and several Forums, and many others report similar problems with their guppies. I will look up Qunine Sulphate right now. I am DETERMINED to find out what this is. I pride myself in knowing diseases! One of these days I'm gonna get a microscope too. Hopefully this is not some kind of virus!
 

Matt68046

Where can I get the Qunine Sulphate? The only site I saw was wanting $13.50 for shipping! that is ridiculous amount of shipping for one little bottle of pills.
 

Sarcasm Included

Easiest place to get Quinine is as Quinine Hydrocloride in a pond supply shop.
Like this one
Check your local shops, but don't buy them as pills.
 

Rivieraneo

Hmmmm. I'm not entirely convinced its mycobacteria tho. I'm thinking more MalawI chichlid bloat, or some other parasite, why else would and ick type medicine in the water and a laxative have success where other meds fail.
In any case all my fish are fine right now, minus one that jumped out of the tank when my 7 year old turned on the lights. She put it back in, but it was damaged and passed. ANyways, Ive got my ten gallon tank on hand to put them in if they come down with it again. I'm stopping any and all meds, and after this cube of frozen food in the fridge is gone, I'm gonna stop with the Epsom salt in their food too. I know its a weird combination to kill an internal parasite, but its the only thing that worked!

Matt, have you considered the use of oxolinic acid ?
 

Matt68046

I have never seen that before. My storage cabinet of fish meds includes the typical medicines, methylene, terramycin, metronizale, prazipro and malachite.
You guys are way ahead of me in the medicine world.

What is this stuff and what does it do? I mean the site says gram-negative bacteria, junebug thinks it might be mycrobacteriaum marinum, I'm not totally convinced its not a parasite do to the lack of lesions, the presence of stringy poo and the bloated and sitting on the bottom/abdominal stress.
You guys are amazing, never in any other fish site have I found such a wealth of nice, knowelagable people. Crazy about fish, yes....it seems I have come to the right place. Ill take care of the noobs with fungus, you guys can handle the unsolveable parasite problems! I love this forum.
 

junebug

I actually don't think it's mycobacterium marinum, but one of the other strains known to survive in water is a possibility. Not saying that's what it is. You could probably find out if they have bacteria or possibly a blood parasite if you lose another and have it tested in a lab.

I had a pretty severe mycobacterium outbreak among my livebearers. I came to that conclusion after studying symptoms over the course of several months and speaking to my aquatic vet about it, he concurred. We didn't go with laboratory testing because it's cost-prohibitive here but if you have the ability to get it done, I would. It might also reveal blood parasites which wouldn't be present in stool, or some other issue.

Anyway my point with that was going to be that lesions are not even a symptom of some strains of mycobacteria. Mine had most likely contracted m. marinum, the symptoms where spinal deformity, sunken chest, and difficulty swimming. They actually died of mycobacterium and not a secondary infection, which is usually the case with chronic bacterial issues. A few of my swordtails also got stringy poo, I believe this was the result of a secondary infection and the combination eventually led to their deaths. No anti-parasite or anti-bacterial meds worked on it.

Anyway I'm glad your fish are doing better. I second doing a heavy salt bath for everybody, and I will still strongly suggest that if another one dies, to preserve it and try to have some testing done.
 

Sarcasm Included

Your PH is too high to use quinine, as it becomes toxic above 7.5. It raises the cellular PH in bacteria and parasites killing them, the fish can handle this to a point.
 

Matt68046

Is there any way to check the fish farms? Like for all the plant and tree farms, there is FGA like florida Growers association, is there a Fish farm association. I'm convinced its nothing I'm doing wrong but an outbreak. Course if they did have an outbreak I doubt they would advertise it. My google searches only turn up my own forum post.
Nevermind found this website https://www.ftffa.com/content/member_directory.php
and emailed some people.
Maybe call a couple of them Monday. Vets around here don't know anything about fish. The zoo might work, but since I have no sick fish ATM, I just have to do research and ask around the farms. Most people in florida are friendly, and catholic lol I use to live in Orlando and also homestead for awhile years ago, hard work that is.
 

Sarcasm Included

I have heard good things about imperial tropical fish aka show fishing. He is located in Florida and he might be able to help you out.
 

junebug

It can't be in all the fish farms, I haven't seen any issues with the livebearers sold in Cali. At least not anything unusual, just the normal large amounts of deaths due to dirty water in store tanks.
 

Matt68046

Well it turns out that its just some weird parasite. It can be cured using Acriflavin/Malachite green for 4-5 days and epsom salt 1Tbsp per ten gallons once. Hope some people will find this on a google search, and find the cure to this stubborn bug. Metronidazole was not effective nor was clout.
 

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