Sick ram and possibly rummynose?

Gudgie

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Starting last night, I noticed my female Bolivian ram is acting off. No sign of injury, but she keeps sitting on the bottom of the tank. She’s close to her usual coloration - slightly pale. She perked up for food and swam a bit (swimming looks fine), but then went back to sitting on the bottom. This is abnormal for her, as she’s usually perky and a tad feisty. The only other time she or my other rams acted like this was the first day they were in QT. My other rams (3 males) are acting fine.

The rams are the most recent addition to the tank. They were added to my 55 gallon on 2/17, after being in QT since 2/5. Never any sign of illness until this.
Other fish in the tank are fine, except I noticed today that one rummynose tetra has a discolored patch on its left side, basically in between his head and dorsal fin - see pic. It’s the one in the center of the pic with a whitish triangle near its head (other white spots in pic are on the tank glass, not the fish). Behaving completely normally. This rummy has been in the tank since 2/10 or so.

Important background on the rummynose: we purchased 5 on 1/20 and started quarantine. One died a few days later, of suspected Columnaris though not certain. Decided to treat the whole QT tank to be safe, using furan2 and kanaplex (NOT the same QT tank that the rams were in). They remaining 4 always remained healthy in appearance with normal appetite and behavior, so after about 2.5 weeks they were introduced into the 55, joining our pre-existing school of six rummies. Until this new discoloration on one, they’ve always had normal behavior and great coloration.

Tank parameters:
As of last weekend, the tank was its usual 0/0/20 for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, pH 7.4, temp 74-75.Tested this morning, and ammonia was slightly elevated - no higher than 0.25ppm. Nitrates were up around 40ppm. I suspect this was due to over feeding, since nothing else in the tank has changed. Immediately did a large water change (~60%), and added some extra prime to help neutralize the ammonia. I’ll retest tomorrow and do an additional water change if any ammonia is present.

I suspect the ammonia and elevated nitrates could cause the ram’s behavior. However, this wouldn’t cause the rummy’s discoloration, would it?

I’m trying to decide how best to proceed. Typically I’d lean towards monitoring with frequent water changes. But if anyone suspects Columnaris, I’d rather aggressively treat the whole tank with furan2/kanaplex, given it can wipe out a tank. I also have metroplex and PraziPro on hand if anyone thinks those are appropriate.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

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coralbandit

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Count the rummies everyday so you know what is happening .
I have always thought rummies belonged with my other rams at 82f+ so not sure if the temp may be an issue for them ?
That being said if columnaris is happening you don't want to raise the temp ..
She looks pale and seems to be clamping her tail ?
 
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Gudgie

Gudgie

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coralbandit said:
Count the rummies everyday so you know what is happening .
I have always thought rummies belonged with my other rams at 82f+ so not sure if the temp may be an issue for them ?
That being said if columnaris is happening you don't want to raise the temp ..
She looks pale and seems to be clamping her tail ?
She’s definitely clamping her tail when she’s down on the bottom. When she does swim a little, her tail is unclamped but her pelvic fins largely stay clamped.

We’ve generally kept the rummies around 75F, and in the past they’ve been fine. But we could certainly bump things up a degree or two. I’d always thought Mid-70s for them, but looking online I’m seeing different estimates that range from 72-84...
 
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Gudgie

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Update today: the rummy looks the same, but the ram now has a small white growth on the left side of her dorsal fin. It’s slightly sticking off her fin. Do folks think this looks like Columnaris vs possible something fungal? I want to make sure I use the appropriate meds.

Besides these two fish, everyone else in the tank still seems fine.
 

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Addictedtobettas

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I don’t feel as though my experience with fungal infections is helpful, however, I’ve had Columnaris issues in a couple of tanks. Just want to point out that Columnaris often presents with white fuzzy fungal like bits. That’s why it’s often called cotton mouth.

Also given the description of a tetra having a faded almost gray spot? That sounds like Columnaris.

Your ram looks like mine did before they passed.

I think it’s easier to treat for Columnaris and see how that goes and then if it’s fungus go from there vs treating for fungal and it turns out to be Columnaris you probably won’t get the chance to treat for it and the fish will be weakened from fungal treatments leading to bigger losses.

But that’s just my 2c from recent experience with a horrible disease

I also suggest removing the potentially sick fish to a quarantine tank. Treating the entire tank if you have plants and shrimp can go haywire. So many mixed opinions on it.

However the fish I had die from it were the curious ones for the most part. It may be in the water and affect stressed or weaker fish more easily but it also went after the fish that just ‘checked out’ the patient zero.
 
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Gudgie

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I have Furan 2 and kanaplex, so I’m going to start treating tonight. Just debating whether to qt the two obviously sick fish, versus move the snails to QT and instead treat the large tank. I know Columnaris could have spread to other inhabitants, so I’m wondering if that’s the safer option. And as sad as I’ll be if it kills my plants, I definitely value the fish much more.

Edit: made the decision to treat the display tank. Moved the mystery snail and nerites to another tank to be safe; unfortunately did not locate the two Amano shrimp as they are masters of disguise. Dosed Kanaplex and furan 2, day 1 of the 5 day round of treatment. We will see what the next few days bring :/
 
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Gudgie

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Just figured I'd post an update, as I just finished round one of treatment. I'll do a second round to be sure, but things are looking good!

The female ram no longer has the white tuft on her dorsal fin, and is much more feisty (closer to her usual behavior). She's still periodically sitting on the bottom, but not nearly as much as before treatment. Signs look good that she'll fully recover.

The rummynose's triangular patch is much less prominent, though he has a scattering of scales that still look similarly discolored. But his behavior is otherwise normal. So I think he'll likely pull through this as well. No one else in the tank is showing symptoms, thankfully.

Found one of the amanos today too. He looked a bit off kilter, but still alive. Transferred him into the tank with the snails to hopefully recover from the antibiotics.
 
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Gudgie

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The rummy seems back to normal, and the female ram is semI back to normal. She still seems prone to sitting on the bottom w/ a somewhat clamped tail fin, almost like she's resting. Then if I walk past, feed the tank, or there's any activity, she goes back to acting like normal. coralbandit, have you ever seen this behavior in a healthy ram? Everyone else seems perfectly fine, including the three other rams.

The one thing that's off in the tank is that the nitrates are still high (40ish), so I'm about to do a hefty water change. I suspect it's at least partially caused by some plants that died off from the antibiotics. I guess for now I'm going to up my water change regiment until things go back to pristine, unless anyone has any other suggestions for things to try.
 

coralbandit

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Whenever I have had or seen a ram 'belly sliding ' thy have never recovered .
They don't die fast and they don't seem to infect any other fish but they never recover ..
It is something odd that seems to strike individual fish for what ever reason ?
 
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Gudgie

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coralbandit said:
Whenever I have had or seen a ram 'belly sliding ' thy have never recovered .
They don't die fast and they don't seem to infect any other fish but they never recover ..
It is something odd that seems to strike individual fish for what ever reason ?
That’s saddening, but I suppose not unexpected. I’ll continue to keep an eye on her, but won’t be surprised if she doesn’t make it. Once we finally move everyone into the bigger tank (75 gallon) this weekend and they’ve settled in, then I’ll be looking to add three females if/when they become available (edit: assuming no other fish show symptoms of illness in the meantime).
 
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Gudgie

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Good news, coralbandit! I haven’t seen the female belly sliding for at least three days, and she seems to be back to her normal behavior. Perhaps she’s out of the woods now :)
 

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