Fish TB

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by curiousowl, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. curiousowlNew MemberMember

    Anyone have any experience with Fish TB?
    What my fish have: Curved spines, Lesions on the body, loss of scales, Loss of appetite.
    I've slowly been losing fish. I have 3 platies, 1 blue gourami, 1 Cory cat and one dwarf frog.

    My water parameters are all in check. I just don't know what to do.
  2. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    I am sorry for your losses,
    Can you give me more information on the tank(size, age, stock, the exact numbers of the parameters, what fish have died, when they started dying) pretty much anything about the tank that you can think of, as well as pictures of all infected fish. I will use this to determine if this is mycobacteriosis(fish TB) or might be contributed to something else. The treatment for mycobacteriosis is extremely involved, long, and might exceed the value your fish(you can click the blog link in my profile to see what I am talking about). You should move any fish that are infected to a hospital tank to minimize the chance of passing on the infection to others. If the tank is infected with mycobacterium, the whole tank is infected but you can avoid fish succumbing to the disease through removal of symptomatic fish and keeping the tank very clean.

  3. Matt68046Valued MemberMember

    Just cull and stearilize everything. Sorry to hear

  4. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    That is indiscriminate and poor advice.

  5. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    UV sterilization is usually very helpful if mycobacterium is present.

    Personally I will "cull" an entire tank if mycobacterium pops up, but that's in no small part because I'm protecting the other fish I have from my own stupidity, as I can't trust myself to avoid accidental cross contamination, and I keep mostly rare, wild type fish that I might never be able to replace should they become ill.

    Providing the info that Sarcasm requested will be helpful in determining if that's what is causing your fish's symptoms, and if it is, you will have to decide what to do from there.
  6. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    reference his 2015 publication on mycobacteria  
    Sorry to pass this bad news on
  7. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    UV is kind of a waste of money. This is not the topic but since it was brought up....

    Good husbandry and not letting sunlight into a tank will get you the same results as a UV filter.
  8. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    If disinfection becomes necessary, I've read that mycobacteria are resistant to chlorine solutions because they have a lipid coating that blocks the water in which the chlorine is dissolved. So one recommendation was to use alcohol as the disinfectant.
  9. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    The biofilm affords it some protection against chlorine solutions, but it can be overcome by scrubbing to allow for direct contact between the bacteria and chlorine.
  10. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I just read most of that PDF article, and as with the other one I read a while back, it's pretty scary.

    I'm not quoting, but the gist of some of what the author says seems to be that you can use a strong hypochlorite solution, and scrubbing, to oxidize and remove as much material as possible, and then follow that up with the alcohol to kill the now-exposed, remaining mycobacteria. A real pain! :)

    High concentrations of hypochlorite are routinely used to disinfect pipes, tanks, etc., that have been exposed or entered for repair or maintenance, or when first installed, or recoated, etc. You can buy sodium or calcium hypochlorite meant for swimming pool or spa "shock" treatment easily enough.

    One thing that seemed a little odd was the mention of "buffered" hypochlorite solution being used. Hopefully, the buffer was meant to keep the pH somewhat low, so the hypochlorus acid form would predominate, making the disinfection more effective. I'd like to have some clarification on what was really meant by that.

    Especially worrying is the section about transmission to humans. Everyone should read that all, and be careful.

    A woman where I work had a bad eye infection, and while there is no way to prove the source of the infection, she had splashed some water into her eye when hosing out one of our filters at the water treatment plant where we work a few days to a week or so prior to developing symptoms. Just routine backsplash when hosing the sides down during a backwash to remove some of the scum that builds up near the surface of the water, on the walls of the various filter "tanks".

    We've all been careful about this since then, but it's really easy to get a facefull of splatter when performing this procedure. A typical face shield or goggles might be prudent. And keep your mouth closed. :)

    But the main point is to avoid contact with fish and aquarium water, or the spray of tiny droplets created where air bubbles are bursting as they reach the water surface above airstones and such. And wash your hands and arms with disinfectant soap and alcohol-based antibacterial stuff after performing aquarium maintenance. And especially be careful if you have any cuts or breaks in your skin.

    Reading these articles on the subject is quite discouraging.

    I was wondering if the author would mention anything about the potential of UV irradiation to promote mutations, perhaps leading to worse, or UV resistant strains, and he did.

    The part about photoreactivation was interesting. I'd never heard of that!

    UV is used in municipal water treatment, and particularly where cryptosporidium is the problem. I suspect the dose rates used are far higher than those mentioned in this article, because inactivation of crypto is far more difficult than inactivation of bacteria or even viruses. So hopefully the UV doses used for drinking water systems would roast the mycobacteria quite thoroughly! I can look that up when I get back to work on Sunday and see what dose rates are commonly used in those systems.

    All of this has implications not only for aquarium keeping, but also for municipal water treatment, one would think.

    Thank you for that link. I will share it with the people at work, especially the microbiologist and see what she thinks of it all.
  11. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    lol all I meant was that a UV sterilizer will kill the bacteria that break loose into the water, thus preventing it from infecting other fish. Once a fish becomes symptomatic, it would be pointless to try to use a UV sterilizer to treat the illness. I only mentioned it because it sounds like there are other fish in the OP's tank.

    Interestingly, Diana Walstad found that mycobacterial infections were greatly reduced in her well-aged tanks. She had a pretty major outbreak at one point, so was experimenting with treatments and prevention options. The best prevention is to keep up on water maintenance while not keeping the tank too clean, as the other bacteria that are naturally occurring in tanks will outcompete the mycobacteria. But once you have a full-blown infection with symptomatic fish, it becomes a moot point. These were the instances where she most often use UV sterilizers, once a fish had become symptomatic.
  12. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    The article in question addresses all of that.

    It mentions that having healthy populations of non pathogenic bacteria is a good thing.

    The author makes some good points about why using a UV system may not do much good, even just to try to reduce the free-floating populations, and why that won't help much in preventing infection of other fish in the tank, anyhow.

    It really is quite discouraging! Very grim, indeed.

    It did sound like using ozone in conjunction with UV might have some merit, though, but that had problems, as well.

    As long and somewhat dry as the article is, it's worth reading, I think.

    Then again, it's enough to make a guy want to just give up on aquarium keeping altogether.

    Blehhh! ;)
  13. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    If your really interested in the subject and the article, you can go  , where myself, Mike, and Adrian Tappin, ended up discussing mycobacteria. The beginning starts out with an argument but move past that to the actual discussion and you will find many linked articles. You can also ask questions you might have as Adrian and the rest of us are still around. We are currently looking for myco cases to determine outbreak points and clearer methods of visual diagnosis to that point.
  14. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you. I will have to check that all out.

    It really is a fascinating subject!
  15. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    OK. I read that thread. Very interesting, and a lot to it, of course.

    I can see how it will be quite difficult to get the data you guys want to have in your database.

    Without any cheap, fast, easy way to identify exact species of bacteria and their prevalence within a sample, you end up having incomplete data from all but a few instances or outbreaks. So it may be very difficult to answer many of the questions you've all raised.

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