55 Gallon Tank Is This The Beginning Of Fungus?

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  • #1
Hi! My blood parrot cichlids have been a little aggressive lately, and one of them has a tiny amount of whitish stuff on its face. Is it fungus? The stuff below the (nostrils?) haveha been seen before, and I think it has been stressed out lately as well. I also don't have a quarantine tank, so is there anything I can do? Also, if I added medication to the main tank is it possible that it would either affect other fish or make the bacteria resistant to the meds?

Also, in the future would a 55 gallon tank be enough to house 2 blood parrot cichlids?
 

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Gypsy13
  • #2
Do you have methylene blue? You could give this one baths to keep it from spreading and aid in healing it. Someone else will need to look at the picture to see how bad it is. Can you get kanaplex and furan2 just in case?
 
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  • #3
I have Kanaplex and I'm going to the store tomorrow to see if there were any fungal cures. Do any of them work, such as API fungal cure? I don't have methylene blue though.
 
Gypsy13
  • #4
I have Kanaplex and I'm going to the store tomorrow to see if there were any fungal cures. Do any of them work, such as API fungal cure? I don't have methylene blue though.

Unfortunately even though it looks fungal it’s probably not. It’s most likely bacterial. Using kanaplex and furan2 together gets you **** Spectrogram. It’s a great combination for knocking out infections like this.
 
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  • #5
Ok, I'll try to get some furan2 soon! Should I medicate with Kanaplex first, or start at the same time? Also, do you think a 55 gallon could house two adult blood parrots?
 
Gypsy13
  • #6
Ok, I'll try to get some furan2 soon! Should I medicate with Kanaplex first, or start at the same time? Also, do you think a 55 gallon could house two adult blood parrots?

Here’s the dosing schedule for using them together:

A8BC4EFD-5E04-4D0A-B64D-3F5294635B46.jpeg
As far as stocking goes, have to leave that up to experts. My fish tend to be rescues so I’ve got to fit tanks around them. Dave125g cichlid4life TexasDomer any help here will be very much appreciated. Please?
 
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  • #7
Ok, thanks for the list!
 
Gypsy13
  • #8
Ok, thanks for the list!

I’m just hoping everyone turns out ok. Beautiful fish!
 
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  • #9
Thanks! They're so interactive!
 
Dave125g
  • #10
I have used apI fungus cure. It does work on fungus infections. My plants had a hard time with it, but all eventually bounced back. I think a 55 is large enough for a pair of blood parrots. Lchi87 thoughts on 2 in a 55?
 
Inactive User
  • #11
To offer a different perspective:

(1) Differentiating between a fungal and a bacterial infection (and also an ectoparasitic infection) based on gross pathology - that is, examining what can be seen to the naked eye - is very imprecise. I would only entrust that sort of task to a skilled clinician, and even then, a confident diagnosis in most cases requires a histology (microscopic examination) of either a tissue biopsy or a mucus scrape.

If it is fungal, an additional issue is whether it is an invasive secondary infection to a primary traumatic injury (e.g. bumped up against the hardscape) or a primary bacterial infection.

(2) Even though Furan 2 is quite often sold and purchased for ornamental fish use, the clinical literature rarely recommends its use as an initial treatment for either food fish or ornamental fish.

From Noga's (2010) fish disease diagnosis and treatment manual:

"Unfortunately, nitrofurans are carcinogenic, genotoxic, and mutagenic and are strictly illegal for use on food fish in some countries, including the United States and the European Union... Nitrofurans should be handled with appropriate care to avoid human exposure."

From Treves-Brown's (2000) manual on applied fish pharmacology:

"Nitrofurans [Furan 2] give positive results to some in vitro tests for carcinogenicity and are banned, at least for food-producing species, in a number of countries including the whole of the EU and North America. For ornamental fish, where much medication is actually carried out b amateurs, it needs to be recognized that nitrofurans do constitute a hazard to operators."

The carcinogenicity/mutagenicity/genotoxicity occurs for both fish and humans.

(3) Treatment using antibiotics without having a degree of confidence that it is a bacterial infection (and even then, what particular bacterium it is) is problematic. Antibiotics are not a "stress free" treatment, and they can enable immunosuppression (allowing pathways for iatrogenic secondary infections) and also cause antibiotic resistance among other issues. For e.g. Noga (2010) notes that "prophylactic use of antibiotics is rarely advisable".

With that being said, Noga's (2010) initial recommendation for water mould (i.e. "fungus") infections in freshwater fish is prolonged immersion in aquarium salt:

"Add 1-5 g salt/l (= 1-5 ppt = 3.8-19g/gallon). Some freshwater fish, such as many catfish, are sensitive to even concentrations of salt, so the lower dosage should be used with these salt-sensitive species. Virtually all tropical freshwater aquarium fish can be maintained indefinitely in 1 ppt seawater."

If, after a week, no improvements are visible, you can also try Noga's (2010) suggestion for a salt bath to treat for freshwater ectoparasites, columnaris and other bacterial infections:

"Add 10-30g salt/l = (10-30 ppt = 38-114 g/gallon), and treat for up to 30 minutes. The higher doses may only be tolerated for a few minutes. Fish may become excitable when they are first exposed to high salt concentrations. If fish are weak or if they are a salt-sensitive species, use the lower dosage and repeat the next day."

If no improvements show after a few days with that treatment, I would then suggest the use of Maracyn 2. Its active ingredient is minocycline, a tetracycline compound. Oxytetracycline is more commonly used than minocycline in aquaculture, but it may not be available over-the-counter (it isn't in Australia). Regardless, Noga (2010) notes that "all tetracyclines share virtually identical spectra of antibacterial activity; thus, cross-resistance and susceptibility of bacteria are nearly complete".

Regarding Kanaplex, Noga (2010) lists its only recommended use as potentially treating Mycoberium infections (i.e. "fish tuberculosis"). Maddison et al.'s (2008) manual on small animal clinical pharmacology: "kanamycin is inferior in activity to more recent aminoglycosides and is therefore not much used clinically."
 
cichlid4life
  • #12
in the first picture it seems that the blood parrot has black spots around the base of the dorsal fin, and on the dorsal fin, have those spots always been there?
 
Dave125g
  • #13
To offer a different perspective:

(1) Differentiating between a fungal and a bacterial infection (and also an ectoparasitic infection) based on gross pathology - that is, examining what can be seen to the naked eye - is very imprecise. I would only entrust that sort of task to a skilled clinician, and even then, a confident diagnosis in most cases requires a histology (microscopic examination) of either a tissue biopsy or a mucus scrape.

If it is fungal, an additional issue is whether it is an invasive secondary infection to a primary traumatic injury (e.g. bumped up against the hardscape) or a primary bacterial infection.

(2) Even though Furan 2 is quite often sold and purchased for ornamental fish use, the clinical literature rarely recommends its use as an initial treatment for either food fish or ornamental fish.

From Noga's (2010) fish disease diagnosis and treatment manual:

"Unfortunately, nitrofurans are carcinogenic, genotoxic, and mutagenic and are strictly illegal for use on food fish in some countries, including the United States and the European Union... Nitrofurans should be handled with appropriate care to avoid human exposure."

From Treves-Brown's (2000) manual on applied fish pharmacology:

"Nitrofurans [Furan 2] give positive results to some in vitro tests for carcinogenicity and are banned, at least for food-producing species, in a number of countries including the whole of the EU and North America. For ornamental fish, where much medication is actually carried out b amateurs, it needs to be recognized that nitrofurans do constitute a hazard to operators."

The carcinogenicity/mutagenicity/genotoxicity occurs for both fish and humans.

(3) Treatment using antibiotics without having a degree of confidence that it is a bacterial infection (and even then, what particular bacterium it is) is problematic. Antibiotics are not a "stress free" treatment, and they can enable immunosuppression (allowing pathways for iatrogenic secondary infections) and also cause antibiotic resistance among other issues. For e.g. Noga (2010) notes that "prophylactic use of antibiotics is rarely advisable".

With that being said, Noga's (2010) initial recommendation for water mould (i.e. "fungus") infections in freshwater fish is prolonged immersion in aquarium salt:

"Add 1-5 g salt/l (= 1-5 ppt = 3.8-19g/gallon). Some freshwater fish, such as many catfish, are sensitive to even concentrations of salt, so the lower dosage should be used with these salt-sensitive species. Virtually all tropical freshwater aquarium fish can be maintained indefinitely in 1 ppt seawater."

If, after a week, no improvements are visible, you can also try Noga's (2010) suggestion for a salt bath to treat for freshwater ectoparasites, columnaris and other bacterial infections:

"Add 10-30g salt/l = (10-30 ppt = 38-114 g/gallon), and treat for up to 30 minutes. The higher doses may only be tolerated for a few minutes. Fish may become excitable when they are first exposed to high salt concentrations. If fish are weak or if they are a salt-sensitive species, use the lower dosage and repeat the next day."

If no improvements show after a few days with that treatment, I would then suggest the use of Maracyn 2. Its active ingredient is minocycline, a tetracycline compound. Oxytetracycline is more commonly used than minocycline in aquaculture, but it may not be available over-the-counter (it isn't in Australia). Regardless, Noga (2010) notes that "all tetracyclines share virtually identical spectra of antibacterial activity; thus, cross-resistance and susceptibility of bacteria are nearly complete".

Regarding Kanaplex, Noga (2010) lists its only recommended use as potentially treating Mycoberium infections (i.e. "fish tuberculosis"). Maddison et al.'s (2008) manual on small animal clinical pharmacology: "kanamycin is inferior in activity to more recent aminoglycosides and is therefore not much used clinically."
Nice book you wrote there. Very descriptive, with references. I just have to say that the first part of your post is the most important thing. An accurate diagnosis is the most important thing when your dealing with any illness. Too many people see a sick fish and just start a treatment. If your using the wrong medication you will make the fish sicker.

OP: my suggestion is daily large water changes. A lot of times that's all a fish needs.
 
Lchi87
  • #14
I have used apI fungus cure. It does work on fungus infections. My plants had a hard time with it, but all eventually bounced back. I think a 55 is large enough for a pair of blood parrots. Lchi87 thoughts on 2 in a 55?
I think you need 75 for 2 personally. They’re pretty active!
 
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  • #15
Oops, the black spots were actually green spot algae, the lighting is kinda bad. I can't get 75, but would 65 be ok? I do have maracyn 2 at home, but I don't have another tank yet. I'm working on finding and getting another one to treat it in, so should I wait to medicate or just start now in the main tank? I'll add the aquarium salt either way though.
 
cichlid4life
  • #16
Oops, the black spots were actually green spot algae, the lighting is kinda bad. I can't get 75, but would 65 be ok? I do have maracyn 2 at home, but I don't have another tank yet. I'm working on finding and getting another one to treat it in, so should I wait to medicate or just start now in the main tank? I'll add the aquarium salt either way though.
now that you said algae on the glass, I can see that it is just algae that is on the glass that just seemed to be on the fish's body.
 
Inactive User
  • #17
Nice book you wrote there. Very descriptive, with references.

My background is in health research: descriptiveness and referencing are just par for the course in evidence-based clinical practice.

I know that not many others have access to fish clinical literature, so I include excerpts from the texts to ensure full disclosure when people are making their decisions. It might make my posts rather long, but I find that most people are appreciative of the attempt to link specific suggestions of mine to treatment recommendations as they appear in the clinical literature.

I'm working on finding and getting another one to treat it in, so should I wait to medicate or just start now in the main tank?

I would hold off on Maracyn 2 until you get a hold of a separate tank: subjecting healthy fish to antibiotics is, again, not something that is recommended in the literature.
 
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  • #18
Ok! The only issue is that although I can beastl definitely get another tank, it might be a week or more before it gets here and it's set up with a heater and filter. Would it be ok without medication for that long if it doesn't go away with aquarium salt?
 
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  • #19
Ok! The only issue is that although I can beastl definitely get another tank, it might be a week or more before it gets here and it's set up with a heater and filter. Would it be ok without medication for that long if it doesn't go away with ?

That I cannot say as I'm unsure of the symptom's underlying cause (bacterial, water mould, ecoparasitic). Even then, I'm also unable to make even "soft" guarantees as to whether or not a condition will improve or deteriorate as I'm not a fish veterinarian.
 
Dave125g
  • #20
My background is in health research: descriptiveness and referencing are just par for the course in evidence-based clinical practice.

I know that not many others have access to fish clinical literature, so I include excerpts from the texts to ensure full disclosure when people are making their decisions. It might make my posts rather long, but I find that most people are appreciative of the attempt to link specific suggestions of mine to treatment recommendations as they appear in the clinical literature.



I would hold off on Maracyn 2 until you get a hold of a separate tank: subjecting healthy fish to antibiotics is, again, not something that is recommended in the literature.
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't being sarcastic. My apologies if it sounded that way. I rather enjoyed reading your post. There's great information in there. I like the references also. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of getting an accurate diagnosis first, before medicating. Far too often I see medication recommendations before a diagnosis.
 
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  • #21
Thanks for all the tips and information. In case it's not bacterial, should I get a few other medications like API Fungus Cure?
 
Dave125g
  • #22
Thanks for all the tips and information. In case it's not bacterial, should I get a few other medications like API Fungus Cure?
At this point it looks bacterial. In a few days it could grow the tell tail cotton looking stuff. API fungus cure is primarily for fungus, however it also contains an antibiotic to that will treat a secondary infection. I've only ever used it on something I knew was fungal, so I'm not sure if it will work on a bacterial infection. Also I wouldn't add salt to your tank. It can be used, but only as a bath in a separate tank. It's not really a good idea for what your dealing with. All it really does is strip the slime coat off causing the fish to grow a new one.
 
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  • #23
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't being sarcastic. My apologies if it sounded that way. I rather enjoyed reading your post. There's great information in there. I like the references also. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of getting an accurate diagnosis first, before medicating. Far too often I see medication recommendations before a diagnosis.

No, no, my apologies! On re-reading your post, it's very clear you weren't being sarcastic. It's close to 12 in the afternoon and I haven't yet had my morning cup of coffee, and it's surprising that I'm able to read at all without caffeine!

I thoroughly agree you with about "diagnosis before meds". I suppose the crux is that getting a diagnosis (even a half-certain one) at all is a real challenge in this hobby. The cost of a half hour consultation at my local veterinary clinic is something on the order of AUD120, and that can become particularly cost prohibitive quite quickly. And that's assuming one even has a local fish veterinarian.
 
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  • #24
Yeah, that's definitely true for the fish vet thing. I'm pretty sure I don't have one within at least an hour drive, so it's pretty much fishlore helping me all the time. Instead of adding salt to the tank, I should do daily salt baths for now, while I wait for a hospital tank?
 
Dave125g
  • #25
No, no, my apologies! On re-reading your post, it's very clear you weren't being sarcastic. It's close to 12 in the afternoon and I haven't yet had my morning cup of coffee, and it's surprising that I'm able to read at all without caffeine!

I thoroughly agree you with about "diagnosis before meds". I suppose the crux is that getting a diagnosis (even a half-certain one) at all is a real challenge in this hobby. The cost of a half hour consultation at my local veterinary clinic is something on the order of AUD120, and that can become particularly cost prohibitive quite quickly. And that's assuming one even has a local fish veterinarian.
I hear ya on the coffee. I can't get both eyes open before my first cup. Yea all we can really do is guess. To pay 100 bucks to take a 10 dollar to the vet.... Well it's far more cost effective to euthanize the sick fish and buy another. As messed up as that sounds.
 
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  • #26
Yeah, that's definitely true for the fish vet thing. I'm pretty sure I don't have one within at least an hour drive, so it's pretty much fishlore helping me all the time. Instead of adding salt to the tank, I should do daily salt baths for now, while I wait for a hospital tank?

I would do the 2 days of salt baths using the lower recommended aquarium salt doses listed in the excerpt of Noga (2010) from my previous post.

As Noga (2010) notes: salt baths can be helpful in treating an ectoparasitical, bacterial or fungal infection. However, like any treatment, they can fail to have any therapeutic effect. But because salt baths are such an innocuous and generally harmless treatment, it's a case of "well, if it doesn't work, at least it didn't kill the fish". In fact, Noga (2010) emphasises that salt baths, even if they fail to treat a targeted problem, can at least have a positive physiological influence (decreases stress, etc.) that may, at least, assist the fish in resisting less acute, more superficial infections.

On that basis, you can work your way upwards from less specific (but less stressful) to more targeted (but often more stressful) drug treatments based on a balance of probabilities as to what the problem may be.

I hear ya on the coffee. I can't get both eyes open before my first cup. Yea all we can really do is guess. To pay 100 bucks to take a 10 dollar to the vet.... Well it's far more cost effective to the sick fish and buy another. As messed up as that sounds.

It's a real quandary isn't it? I've read, off-hand, of some (quite possibly many) aquaculture enterprises that immediately euthanise ill fish: cost of on-site veterinarian visit, cost of histopathology tests, cost of quarantine, cost of treatment for the entire recirculating system, etc.
 
Dave125g
  • #27
Yeah, that's definitely true for the fish vet thing. I'm pretty sure I don't have one within at least an hour drive, so it's pretty much fishlore helping me all the time. Instead of adding salt to the tank, I should do daily salt baths for now, while I wait for a hospital tank?
I would just do daily 50% or so water changes. That can only help. Salt may do more harm then good. Just observe for now and see if it gets better. If it gets worse then you may want to do something a bit more drastic. If it gets worse then you'll see if it fungal or bacterial. That's what I would do.
 
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  • #28
Oh, ok! Thanks for all your help.
 
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  • #29
Oops, sorry to keep asking questions, but I'm really nervous about salt baths. I heard people using a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon?
 
Dave125g
  • #30
Oops, sorry to keep asking questions, but I'm really nervous about salt baths. I heard people using a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon?
I wouldn't do a salt bath yet, but yes a teaspoon per gallon is correct. How's he looking today?
 
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  • #31
About the same, not much has changed at all. The only difference is in his behaviour since he's been a lot more shy the past couple days.
 
Dave125g
  • #32
About the same, not much has changed at all. The only difference is in his behaviour since he's been a lot more shy the past couple days.
It's natural for a sick fish to hide, as it makes him a target for predators. It is a significant change however. Even in a home aquarium. At this point it's not a bad idea to treat him. Have you checked your parameters?
 
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  • #33
It's cycled, although I'll check nitrates today. I also got methylene blue, I heard it can help?
 
Dave125g
  • #34
It's cycled, although I'll check nitrates today. I also got methylene blue, I heard it can help?
Methylene blue is a good anti-fungal.
 
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  • #35
It's around 30 ppm right now, I'm going to do a 50% water change tomorrow because it's really late here already. I have a spare 5 gallon tub, but I don't have any extra filtration and only a tiny heater that's mostly used for betta tanks so I don't know if it'll keep the water at 80°F. I could move him since I don't want any other fish to get infected if that could be helpful.
 
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  • #36
It's around 30 ppm right now, I'm going to do a 50% water change tomorrow because it's really late here already. I have a spare 5 gallon tub, but I don't have any extra filtration and only a tiny heater that's mostly used for betta tanks so I don't know if it'll keep the water at 80°F. I could move him since I don't want any other fish to get infected if that could be helpful.
 
Dave125g
  • #37
Why not treat the whole tank?
 
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  • #38
None of the other fish are showing symptoms and they're all acting normally, so I didn't want to expose them to medication if I didn't have to. Should I just dose everything?
 
Dave125g
  • #39
No. If its the only sick fish then treat in a seperat tank, but it would need to be heated and filtered. A 20 minute bath may work, but it may not. My large gourami gets fungal infections from time to time. He's almost 10 inches, so its tough. Last time I treated the whole tank because it was so bad. Usually I treat it with frequent 70-80% water changes. I may try a bath next time. Meds are hard on my plants.

How is he today?
 
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  • #40
Still hiding a lot, he comes out more at night now. I don't think it's progressed much, but I think I'm going to try to get a small filter today if I can. Might not be able to though.
 
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