Fungus Problem

jlsmith

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I've had a 10 gallon freshwater tank set up for about 2 months now. I've currently got 2 black molly's, a rock shrimp and 2 red mickey mouse platy. Last week I noticed that one of the black molly's had cotton disease.
I treated the tank with API fungus cure as per the directions on the package:
-Remove the carbon filter
-Add 1 pouch
-Wait 48 hours and add second pouch
-48 hours after second pouch do 25% water change and add carbon filter back in

After treatment the molly appeared to be fully cured (treatment ended on Saturday and it is now Wednesday and the tank water is still green from the meds). Yesterday one of the platy's died randomly, he never appeared to be sick (none of the other fish had the fungus except for the molly) and he never skipped feeding time. Tonight I noticed that the same molly who had the fungus before now has the fungus again!

My routine tank care includes:
-10% weekly water change using a water conditioner when I add new tap water and marineland easy care
-Monthly I change the carbon filter and add marineland aquarium bacteria

Tank water parameters:
GH 120, KH 120, pH 7.5, nitrite 3 mg/L nitrate 40 mg/l
I feel like the meds made the nitrite and nitrate levels higher because when I tested it before adding the treatment last week (I test these once per week) the levels were fine

Is it okay for me to treat the tank with the fungus cure again so soon? Is there something else I need to be doing to resolve this issue?

Any help is appreciated
 

SegiDream

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I'm not sure that I can help with the treatment. But every time you toss your filter you are tossing out your cycle which is not good for the fish. You dont have to use carbon filters unless you are removing meds. There are many filter media options available, but basically you should rarely if ever discard filter media. Instead take it out and rinse it off in old tank water and stick it back in the filter.

Also.. If I'm understanding correctly Nitrite is 3? Sounds way too high. It's a symptom of an uncycled tank, possibly caused by the filter change. (Although perhaps the meds affected it too, never used fungus cure sorry) Nitrate is also high... What is the ammonia level at?
 
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jlsmith

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The filters I use are for the silent stream 10 filter and the package says to change them every month. They are a white felty mesh with a pouch in the middle that you pour the carbon in to. I've read about tank cycling and thought it was odd to change the filter (ruining the cycle and all)but being a new tank owner I followed the box instructions. But basically if every month or so I just save the water I'm changing as part of the maintenance and just rinse the white filter stuff in the old water and put it back in its good? Without the carbon.

And yeah the nitrites and nitrates are high, last week before treatment they were reading at 0 and now they seemed to have jumped. I'm guessing because of the meds as I didn't see them jump the last time I changed the filter. Unfortunately the test strips I have don't read ammonia levels, the ones I use are the API freshwater test strips
 

Corrie Williamson

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I would use furan 2. I read some reviews and heard that api furan 2 is better for cottonmouth and api fungus care is better for body fungus. I've always had good results treating with these 2 meds.

The tank shouldn't be green still mine cleared up in 24 hours after replacing the carbon.

The carbon filter should not be changed monthly you ate throwing out your bb. Can you remove half of it and replace 50%? If it's a sealed one you may need to make a small slit to do that. I personally use carbon and filter floss sheets and cut them to the filter size instead of the filters that come with the hob filters. That way I can replace one 1 thing at a time.

Your nitrites are too high you need to get them down. I would suggest doing a large water change or back to back 25% water changes. To do the back to back you wait at least 1 hour between changes but they can be done on the same day. You may need to do water changes daily until you have a cycled tank.

What's the ammonia level at?
 
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jlsmith

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Hmmm okay so maybe my filter isn't working properly? And I don't think I can just remove half of my filter. Its one solid pouch with a plastic frame it clips on to and there's a slit in the middle that you pour a little package of carbon into. If I removed half of it it wouldn't clip into the filter anymore :/ I don't currently have anything to test the ammonia as the API test strips don't have a spot for that. I did a 25% water change tonight and I'll do another tomorrow. The fungus is definitely a body fungus. Should I put another packet of the API fungus treatment in right now? Or is it too soon after finishing the first treatment (4 days ago)
 

Swizzy Iggs

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What I would suggest is doing a large water change, just as Corrie suggested!
I also think it's important to address what might have caused the fungus. It seems as if either your cycle crashed or parameters were out of control, which weakened your fish and possibly caused ammonia/nitrite burns that left them vulnerable to the fungus, and if this issue isn't fixed, it will only lead to long term illness.
I would add a sponge to the inside of your filter outside of the pouch if you can. Just stuff it in there. There needs to be something porous for the BB to grow on in your filter! And don't toss out that sponge. And also, changing the filter media monthly will impact the health of your tank, as has been noted above.
I would consider treating again, possibly with different (better rated) medication after allowing your fish to recover. I would possibly even suggest doing a saltwater bath for your fish.
Anyways, I'm not an expert! So I'll link you to a few sources. And I'll suggest you do your own research!
Fish Fungus
Treating sick aquarium fish with dips and baths
 

SegiDream

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jlsmith said:
The filters I use are for the silent stream 10 filter and the package says to change them every month. They are a white felty mesh with a pouch in the middle that you pour the carbon in to. I've read about tank cycling and thought it was odd to change the filter (ruining the cycle and all)but being a new tank owner I followed the box instructions. But basically if every month or so I just save the water I'm changing as part of the maintenance and just rinse the white filter stuff in the old water and put it back in its good? Without the carbon.
Manufacturers want you to spend money on new filter media. If you could use ceramic rings, filter floss, and a sponge .. You can rinse and re-use these for a long long time. Carbon does need to be replaced regularly because when it gets old it can leech back out of it. Keeping the white felty stuff is good.

If you have space for more and different filter media I would recommend it. If for some reason you feel the need to toss the entire filter cartridge (or pouch?) use the new one along with the old one for a while (days or weeks) so the new one can get seeded with the beneficial bacteria.

The test strips can be inaccurate, the liquid api master test kit is highly recommended. Prime water conditioner is also highly recommended. Also recommend water changes to get nitrite down, nitrate needs to go down too but it's that nitrite of 3 which is alarming. Ammonia can be very harmful so you're flying blind if you can't determine what the ammonia is at.
 

Corrie Williamson

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jlsmith said:
Hmmm okay so maybe my filter isn't working properly? And I don't think I can just remove half of my filter. Its one solid pouch with a plastic frame it clips on to and there's a slit in the middle that you pour a little package of carbon into. If I removed half of it it wouldn't clip into the filter anymore :/ I don't currently have anything to test the ammonia as the API test strips don't have a spot for that. I did a 25% water change tonight and I'll do another tomorrow. The fungus is definitely a body fungus. Should I put another packet of the API fungus treatment in right now? Or is it too soon after finishing the first treatment (4 days ago)

If you can open the filter dump out half the old carbon and add new stuff. It's way cheaper and saves your cycle. The bb will remain on the pouch and the old carbon and will keep your cycle going. You can buy carbon by the bottle here it's about 5.00 a bottle and will last for about 6 months to a year. Versus a filter that is 5 dollars each month.

Also I second the stuff a piece of filter floss/sponge behind your filter on the hob. That way when you need to dispise of the filter tou still have bb on the sponge.
 
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jlsmith

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Can I use any old (clean never used) sponge or do I need a special one?
 
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jlsmith

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Okay here's an update: I went to the pet store today and picked up an API freshwater test kit, some ammonia remover (just in case) and a filter sponge

What I've done is put in the filter sponge into my filter and removed the felty filter with the carbon. I tested all the water parameters with the test kit:
pH 7.6
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 160 ppm

I know the parameters are off and I'm assuming that's due to the meds and the cycle being destroyed by changing the filter :/ I also started treatment with the API fungus cure again because the one black molly isn't getting any better.

Is there anything else I should do? Or just follow the treatment course and continue on with my regular maintenance excluding the whole filter changing thing?
 

Corrie Williamson

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You will need to get the nitrite and nitrates down by doing water changes. Fungus is an opportunistic disease, meaning it prays on injured, stressed and weak fish. I would worry about your water quality first and foremost. Daily water changes would be better than treating the whole tank again.

Treat the one fish that is sick with daily dips instead and work on getting your cycle back and your water parameters under control.
 

Whitewolf

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Doubt you have 160 nitrate. you need to really SHAKE SHAKE the nitrate tube
Too much bacteria can also lead to nitrite along with nitrate, so in other words clean your substrate and gently wash off the filter pad, and do Partial Water changes with prime
Dont feed so much!
 
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