Fish mycobacterium disenfectant

LoganBryant

I am thinking about changing my tank around (new filter, switching from gravel to sand and some other things) but I think the fish tb has plagued my 55 gallon. I have lost 5-6 platies over the course of 3 or so months. Water parameters are always 0-0-10. So with that, and them wasting and a bent spine, I have a feeling that it is mycobacterium. So that brings me to the question. Should I euthanize any of the corydoras that I have in the tank, along with the other platies as I switch substrate and other things? Also, how should I go about cleaning the tank? I have quite a bit of driftwood in there also and would like to know if I can save those as well... Any thoughts?
Also brings me to the question because I have seen multiple different things. Is the disease prevelent in the water column or rather gets transferred by feces of the eating of a deceased fish?
 

AvalancheDave

Mycobacteria are everywhere. Even in tap water. Disinfection is going to be futile and even if you were successful you would reintroduce it when you put a new fish or plant in the tank.

There's a good chance it's not Mycobateriosis. Your only real option is to keep organic waste from accumulating.
 

MacZ

Mycobacteria are everywhere. Even in tap water. Disinfection is going to be futile and even if you were successful you would reintroduce it when you put a new fish or plant in the tank.
Not necessarily. But this definitely applies to Columnaris.

There's a good chance it's not Mycobateriosis.
I have to stress this. If that stuff was as prevalent everywhere as some online articles make you believe fishkeeping would be illegal for safety reasons.
Most of the symptoms are non-specific bacterial infection symptoms, it's easy to mistake one for the other.
 

GlennO

Mycobacteria is resistant to disinfectants and notoriously difficult to sterilise effectively. I might reluctantly attempt it if I had encountered a particularly acute and persistent strain and diagnosis was confirmed but I would not be confident of success. More usually it presents as a chronic disease that can be successfully managed by minimising the bacterial load in the tank and bolstering the immune systems of your fish. In practice this means euthanising any symptomatic fish as soon as possible and maintaining optimal aquarium conditions and diet.
 

MacZ

Mycobacteria is resistant to disinfectants and notoriously difficult to sterilise effectively. I might reluctantly attempt it if I had encountered a particularly acute and persistent strain and diagnosis was confirmed but I would not be confident of success. More usually it presents as a chronic disease that can be successfully managed by minimising the bacterial load in the tank and bolstering the immune systems of your fish. In practice this means euthanising any symptomatic fish as soon as possible and maintaining optimal aquarium conditions and diet.
Also applies with columnaris and dermocystidium.
 

GlennO

I have to stress this. If that stuff was as prevalent everywhere as some online articles make you believe fishkeeping would be illegal for safety reasons.
Most of the symptoms are non-specific bacterial infection symptoms, it's easy to mistake one for the other.
It seems to be quite prevalent but usually goes undiagnosed. You might find this extract interesting:

A study of aquarium fish was conducted in Italy from June 2002 to May 2005 (Zanoni et al., 2008). Two surveys were carried out, one of aquarium fish sent to a laboratory for diagnosis, and the other of prevalence of infection by mycobacteria in aquarium fish imported into Italy. In the first survey, 387 fish were examined and Mycobacterium species were isolated from 181 (46.8%) fish. In the second survey 127 batches of aquarium fish from different countries were examined. Mycobacterium species were isolated from 38 (29.9%) batches. The following species were found: M. fortuitum, M. peregrinum, M. chelonae, M. abscessus, M. marinum, M. gordonae, M. nonchromogenicum and M. interjectum. There was a high prevalence of infection independent of the presence of macroscopic lesions. M. fortuitum and M. chelonae were more prevalent than M. marinum in the samples examined.

In another study of aquarium fish in Italy from 2005 to 2007 (Bozzetta et al., 2008), 525 aquarium fish, from both fresh and salt water, were subjected to anatomopathological examination and mycobacterial isolation. The study reported 226 (43%) tested positive for Mycobacterium species. They identified the following species: M. chelonae complex (M. chelonae and M. abscessus); M. fortuitum complex (M. peregrinum and M. fortuitum); M. gordonae; M. marinum and M. scrofulaceum.

In 2006, a study by Beran et al., on the presence of mycobacteria in presumably healthy fish and aquariums found that the incidence of the pathogens was ‘quite high’. Samples taken from home aquaria found that 18 of 42 samples taken from 19 fish contained various forms of mycobacteria. The study also showed that mycobacteria were present in the water itself, with 75.4% of samples testing positive. Mycobacteria were also found in snails and crustaceans. Forty-one (70.7%) of 58 selected mycobacterial isolates were identified biochemically as follows: M. fortuitum, M. flavescens, M. chelonae, M. gordonae, M. terrae, M. triviale, M. diernhoferi, M. celatum, M. kansasii and M. intracellulare. M. marinum was not detected. Further studies of home aquaria in 2006 found mycobacteria in 201 of 325 (61.8%) fish tested (Beran et al., 2006b).


Tappin, R. "A Fishkeeper's Guide to Mycobacteriosis", 2015
 

MacZ

I know the article. ;)

If you read again, I was referring to Mycobacte-RIOSIS, meaning the actual disease caused by these bacteria, not the infection rate with the bacteria. My point is, that there are also other genuses of bacteria that have a similarly high infection rate but also lead to relatively few outbreaks.
High prevalence of the pathogen does not have to mean high prevalence of the disease.
 

LoganBryant

Not necessarily. But this definitely applies to Columnaris.


I have to stress this. If that stuff was as prevalent everywhere as some online articles make you believe fishkeeping would be illegal for safety reasons.
Most of the symptoms are non-specific bacterial infection symptoms, it's easy to mistake one for the other.
So, with that, what would you recommend doing? Anything? Nothing? I took out a couple of the scrawny guys and they are in a qt. However, I still plan to switch to sand probably sometime today. I know the some bb is on the gravel, but I would just like sand for my Cory's.
 

MacZ

I see no reason why you shouldn't change the substrate. I wouldn't do anything else, because there isn't really anything you can do.

If you have confirmed cases Mycobacteriosis (and by confirmed I mean a laboratory test) I'd euthanize the whole stock, leave the tank running a few weeks without fish and then get new fish from a different source (which is a given in such cases).

Otherwise I'd wait it out. When you have no further losses in 3 months you can add fish. If the deaths go on, let them go extinct, maybe euthanize if the specimens are obviously suffering. Then also leave the tank running some weeks and again get fish from a new source.

I can also only recommend getting fish that are not prone to disease. No mass produced species (meaning livebearers and danios are mostly out), no colour-morphs or mutants (meaning albinos and electric blues of any species are out, as are linebred fish like bettas).
Then choose species that fit your water and your tank. Make sure they are ok in the tanksize and GH/KH/pH, aswell as the decorations.
Also go to a reputable source. Maybe a bit more costly per fish, but usually that also means less likelyhood of disease or parasites is much lower.
Next, make sure your acclimation technique is least stressful. Make sure the store water is NOT introduced to your tanks.
And finally, while the first batch can be added directly to the tank, all further additions have to go through quarantine.

Prevention is ALWAYS your best bet.
 

LoganBryant

I see no reason why you shouldn't change the substrate. I wouldn't do anything else, because there isn't really anything you can do.

If you have confirmed cases Mycobacteriosis (and by confirmed I mean a laboratory test) I'd euthanize the whole stock, leave the tank running a few weeks without fish and then get new fish from a different source (which is a given in such cases).

Otherwise I'd wait it out. When you have no further losses in 3 months you can add fish. If the deaths go on, let them go extinct, maybe euthanize if the specimens are obviously suffering. Then also leave the tank running some weeks and again get fish from a new source.

I can also only recommend getting fish that are not prone to disease. No mass produced species (meaning livebearers and danios are mostly out), no colour-morphs or mutants (meaning albinos and electric blues of any species are out, as are linebred fish like bettas).
Then choose species that fit your water and your tank. Make sure they are ok in the tanksize and GH/KH/pH, aswell as the decorations.
Also go to a reputable source. Maybe a bit more costly per fish, but usually that also means less likelyhood of disease or parasites is much lower.
Next, make sure your acclimation technique is least stressful. Make sure the store water is NOT introduced to your tanks.
And finally, while the first batch can be added directly to the tank, all further additions have to go through quarantine.

Prevention is ALWAYS your best bet.
I am sure the the platies that I bought were exactly that. I watched the guy bag them and I told him to get the most active ones. The one that I really wanted, has grown huge now and seems healthy. The others are just really mediocre at best. Once something happens with these guys, African cichlids are on my list. I have a fairly high pH, so those should work well. Thanks for your help!
 

MacZ

Once something happens with these guys, African cichlids are on my list.
Unless you go for smaller Tanganyikans that would mean you'll have to upgrade the tank to a 300 liter minimum. Just as a warning.
 

LoganBryant

Unless you go for smaller Tanganyikans that would mean you'll have to upgrade the tank to a 300 liter minimum. Just as a warning.
Yes! I had actually planned on getting a 150 within the next year or so. My pH is up there around 8.2, so I figured having a cichlid tank would be good.
 

MacZ

so I figured having a cichlid tank would be good.
scratch the connection of cichlid and high pH. Only east african rift lake cichlids and central american cichlids need alkaline pH and high hardness. The hundreds of species from West/Central Africa and South America usually need the opposite.
 

LoganBryant

scratch the connection of cichlid and high pH. Only east african rift lake cichlids and central american cichlids need alkaline pH and high hardness. The hundreds of species from West/Central Africa and South America usually need the opposite.
Intresting. Guess you can't always believe everything you read
 

MacZ

Cichlids are a group with over 1800 described species in all Central/South America, all of Africa, Madagascar and parts of India. With that range you can't expect all of them to need the same conditions. ;)
 

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