Fish TB/Mycobacterium marinum/Fish Tank Granuloma

lina

Member
HI All,

Over the past few days I've been doing some research trying to diagnose my fish. Some of the symptoms looked like Fish tuberculosis, so I research Fish TB further. I was quite shocking to have found out that it can be transmitted to humans in a form of a difficult to treat and a quite serious skin condition. The chances of getting it are very low, still I think every new fish keeper should be aware. I found this informative article written by a histotechnologist/fish keeper that I wanted to share.



I still hope my fish doesn't have the TB. I have not seen any skin lesions, which seem to be a common symptom of TB. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Lina
 

0morrokh

Member
I replied to your other post about this...I am sorry but I am sure your fish do have TB. :'( Don't worry too much though, it is extemely rare for the disease to be passed to humans and if it does it is usually because the person had a gaping wound on their hand or else an immune deficiency (or both). However do be extremely careful and try to avoid contact with the tank and fish...some rubber gloves wouldn't be a bad idea.

I said this before but should mention this again: Bleach does not kill TB germs. Anyhting that has come in contact with infected fish needs to be thrown out.

Thanks a lot for posting the article though...it is very informative. I had to do a lot of guesswork when diagnosing my fish but now I know for absolute sure they had TB. :'(
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
HI again,
So, scales/skin lesions on the fish are not necessary for it to be TB?
Do you think I should see a dermatologist? I don't have any wound on my hands, however my skin is dry and I do have little cuts/breaks on it.
What's the best way to euthanize the fish?
I'm curious about bleaching, as the author of this article said that it works.... What is the source of your info, if you don't mind me asking? As for my tank, I think I'm done ...
Thanks again for you help,
Lina
 

0morrokh

Member
The symptoms of TB are more like "possible symptoms your fish could show...or not". Just because they don't show one symptom doesn't mean they don't have TB. I think your fish show enough symptoms to diagnose it for sure.

I don't think you could have caught the TB but going to see a dermatologist might be a good idea if anything just for your own peace of mind.

There is debate as to what the best way to euthanize fish is. In fact asking that question is one of the best ways to start a heated argument on a fish forum. I think the best way is using a mixture of clove oil and vodka...I'm sure someone else can tell you the exact process, I don't have the 'recipe' on hand.

The bleaching thing I got from the bettatalk website--here's the link
(you have to scroll down a ways to get to the TB section)
I will admit that the guy who wrote your article would probably know better about it but I still think it is way to risky to try bleaching and reusing everything. This is a dangerous disease we are dealing with so I wouldn't take any chances with it. It's your choice though of course.
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
I do agree, to be on the safe side I would get rid of everything.
I'm really sorry you lost your fish this way, especially in an established tank. And I do admire how you've overcome this. As for myself, I'm pretty freaked-out (for the lack of the better word) :-\. Not sure if I'll continue with the fish keeping hobby
I will look up the clove oil/vodka recipe. And "yes", I should have known better as to ask the question about fish euthanasia. I do remember reading one pretty heated debate here re: clove oil versus ice...
 

0morrokh

Member
Well to tell you the truth I was just as or more freaked out as you are. And I considered ditching the hobby too. But fish are too much fun to give up...these things happen so rarely and the rest of the time fishkeeping is super fun. I hope you don't give up because of this bad experience. Fish are really worth it even if you do have bad moments.

Oh and I didn't mean that euthanasia was a bad thing to ask about. Just warning you that you might get stormed with differing opinions.
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
BTW, thank you for the link.
 

jj

Member
I can understand your concern over the TB issue. Please don't scare yourself too much. TB was a major problem in the early to mid 1900s, and took many months to recover from. Now however it is much more under control. There are times when we do put our hands in the tank, even though we should know better.....times when we HAVE to and gloves not adequate enough. However, it is a good idea to keep a medicated soap handy and thoroughly wash your hands after, to kill any bacteria. I would hate to see people turned off the hobby by this issue. It is like anything to do with our pets, we must just be careful. Common sense should prevail. The fish may have just died from the cycling process, they can have similar symptoms to TB in fish.
 

tan.b

Member
sorry to barge in....my fish had some symptoms similar to t.b. and got a bit scared too. please don't let it put you off fish though. of course its up to you, but I reckon a bit of perseverance will reep rewards eventually. (i'm feeling optimistic!!). and since you've gone to the trouble to get this far.... :-\

i've nearly given up a number of times (only been involved in it for a few weeks!!).

so the symptoms for tb and cycling are similar then? that's reassuring. hopefully my fish are just suffering with the cycling then rather than tb. hope so (not that I hope they're suffering...but rather if its just cycling that's not as serious in the long term and a better prognosis for the remaining fish - and me!!). trouble with fish disease for the beginner is all the disease charts have descriptions of diseases which are very similar, so I guess until you've actually seen them its hard to differentiate. i've about 3 in mind for mine and still can't make a decision which one it is!
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
Yes, diagnosing even when it comes to fish is quite confusing. The problem is, in my case I will never know for sure whether its TB or the cycling process. So, to be on the safe side I need to assume TB, which involves (I was told) disposing of the entire tank!!!! Thank you for the words of encouragement. But if it was only about loosing fish (which is a big deal in itself) but loosing the entire set up (tank and everything else in it) and after it has cycled is something that will stop me from pursing fish keeping further. Well, at least for now
 

chickadee

Member
First of all, I do not want anyone to think that I am trying to advocate the wholesale euthanasia of fish but for those who do have to be painlessly and humanely killed, there is a new product put out now that makes the guess work out dosages and times and such.  It is so much superior to trying to find the "right stuff" to do it right and not that hard to come by.

It is done in two steps, one to anesthetize the fish and the next to actually euthanize it.



Do not use this in your tank, or the tank will be forever unusable. Find a container, NOT styrofoam as it will melt, that you will want to throw away when the job is done.


Rose
:'(
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
Rose,
Thank you.
Would you know for sure if TB is suspected the whole tank (and the supplies) needs to be disposed of?
I'm getting ready to dump everything and want to make sure it needs to be done and that I can't save any of the tank set up. Thanks.
Lina
 

chickadee

Member
From what I know, I would not contradict Omorrokh as she has actually gone through this and I have not.

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

lina

Member
I'm actually not sure if that is in fact what she was advising. I'm just a little confused and I guess still hopeful that some things can be salvaged.
 

jj

Member
It will be such a pity if you dispose of all you equipment without actually knowing for certain. I by no means mean to discredit anyone on forum giving advice, and who know much more, but do be sure. Is there a way of showing your fish to someone who has knowledge of different diseases? I have had coldwater fish for around 30 yrs, and have often thought 'the worst' if one or two died. Unfortunately it is a fact of fish keeping, that certain things happen. I am new to tropical fish, but can't see the difference would be all that much. I do wish you luck, and hope that it works out ok Also to others wondering about the same thing....hang in there and don't give up yet. I saw one of my fish curl up grotesquely once, and I am sure it was because I had soap on my hands without thinking!
 

0morrokh

Member
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you in a while.

I understand that it is hard to diagnose fish through description, and also that many fish ailments tend to resemble each other. However after losing quite a few fish to what I know is TB, I am positive that that is what lina's fish have. Her fish went through the same cycle of various stages of symptoms my fish did, and the cycling process would not have recreated all the symptoms, in the right order, that my fish showed in a mature tank when they were dying of TB.

TB is a dangerous disease, both to fish and humans, and therefore I would not take any chances with keeping any of the things which came into contact with the infected tank. You should do whatever you feel is best to do but my recommendation, from my knowledge of the disease and with your best interest in mind, is to get rid of everything and start over with new, clean equipment. This is not just a fish or two dying for various reasons, but a lot of fish dying suddenly and showing symptoms which I am sure are of TB.

Lina, how are your fish doing? I would like to say again that if any fish are still healthy, they still can be saved. They just need to be removed from the tank. On the other hand, if any fish are suffering you may need to euthanize :'(
 

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