What Do The Stages Of Columnaris Look Like?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Shelilla, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    Pics to come when I get home

    Unfortunately, one of my sweet little ottos has come down with what I suspect to be columnaris. And the slow version, thankfully. I have done two doses of kanaplex so far, but this is my first experience with this bacteria and I don’t know much about it unfortunately. Even worse is I’m going on a 2 week vacation in 2 days, so I really want to make sure my little guy is going to recover before/while I’m gone.

    It started out with fuzz on his tail. After a night this came off along with most of his tail fin and his tail became pale and looked similar to necrosis in shrimp over the next few days while I was treating. It spread a bit but it seems to have stopped now?

    I read online that columnaris “kills over many days” so I really want to make sure he’s recovering and not just slowly dying. I couldn’t find an accurate treatment/improvement length anywhere so I hope someone can help me here.

    Is he going to be okay if his flesh is still rather pale on the tail part? I started treatment on Sunday, so...

    Does anyone know what the stages of columnaris looks like? What is an improvement when recovering from this bacteria, and what does it look like when it’s slowly getting worse?
  2. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    There are four strains of Columnaris with different symptoms unfortunately. To make things worse there are a lot of fish diseases that cause similar symptoms. Pictures will help
  3. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    Usually there's a discolored area--probably what you're describing as pale. If that stops spreading then I would be hopeful.
  4. coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    How long have you had the oto?
    They are known to pass from an internal bacterial infection often close after shipping due to improper feeding..
    For the price of an oto and whatever else is in your tank I would remove the oto and watch tank closely ..
    Not many people 'really' cure columnaris IMO ..
  5. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    Sorry for the bad quality pics. Little guy is hard to take pics of in the net at that angle. He was swimming around everywhere touching everything by the time I noticed his tail so I’ve been treating the tank with Kanaplex. First attached pic was how he was on sunday. No fish showing red flags so far

    It happened because I left a rotting carrot in the tank for far too long not realizing they (shrimp, snail and ottos) wouldn’t eat it fast enough.

    I’ve also got an otto that appears to have a spot/hole developing on/in its head, not sure if its related. Attached a pic of that too.

    I’ve had all my ottos and fish for some months now, since start-mid spring. They have done well and shown no signs of disease or illness until now. There was one otto that died a couple months ago, about a month after getting it, not sure why. Was a bigger/older one so I’m hoping it was just stress from not being able to adapt to aquarium life or something along those lines.

    Attached Files:

  6. coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    That sure does look like fin rot that is usually considered columnaris..
    The tail looks most infected.The other light areas on nose are coloring that are natural for otos IMO.
    The tail fin will grow back if the fish is healing..
    Fin rot is the columnaris that might be curable..
    Keep your tank as low in temp as fish allow and keep up on waterchanges ..
    Treatments of Kanna are not supposed to be repeated as it cause major stress on liver and kidney I believe ?
  7. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    They can be repeated up to 3 times. When I dosed a second time I held back on one scoop and have been closely watching over them. If it I have a betta in the tank, half moon dumbo so I would have thought he would be the first to get fin rot if the conditions were met. But if this is a different type of fin rot that makes a bit more sense then
  8. coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    The proper treatment with Kanna is 3 doses every other day ..
    After that it is a no repeat ..IME that means I would wait 2 weeks of good water changes and feedings before using it again ?
    Don't go lite on amount ,that just helps the disease not the fish ..
  9. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    That’s what I meant by repeated doses. 4 spoonfuls the first day, 3 after three days because that’s what the label recommends. Going to do a water change today.

    He seemed to be getting better and I wasn’t sure if a second dose was even necessary that was why I held back. Also because he’s so small I worry about it being hard on his body. Progress is just slow and I’m not sure how much he is improving or not at all. There’s no more fuzzy fins so I’m just keeping an eye out to see if his tail starts going back to normal or getting worse.
  10. coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Good clean water is key .
    Also food .
    Otos like algae so if you place some stones outside in a bucket of water [in the sun] you will soon have an algae farm you can harvest rocks from to feed the little guys .
    It is very important they eat what they should not just what we can get them to eat ..
  11. angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Agree^^ fresh water and good nutrition is the best way to boost immune and induce healing. It seems you have been dealing with this bacteria for a few months now :( Have you tried hydrogen peroxide for a treatment?

    I also live in Canada, but honestly I was already not a fan of dosing antibiotics. IME and IMO I have better results using alternatives like h2o2 or salt and of course, lots of water changes. FYI, salt is not appreciated by plants. So if you have any, don't go the salt route.
  12. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    Salt is also not appreciated by delicate catfish. I’d rather not go that route. Antibiotics are tried and proven method by many, it’s often just the diagnosis that makes them far less effective. Especially with fungus/fungus like bacteria. Even a very strong antibiotic will do nothing for a fungus. Salt is the general cure most aquarists recommend but I personally dislike messing with my water parameters and temperature. I will admit to being guilty of often misdiagnosing illness and immediately starting treatment, but when I see a fish is sick I want to do everything possible to cure it immediately. Especially with something as scary sounding as columnaris.

    While the little guy is in the net I’ve dropped him a few crumbles of algae wafer every couple days and making sure he eats it to keep up his strength. He seems to have plenty of energy when surprised but sits still for the most part. I hope that’s just because of his reduced mobility due to his missing tail fin.

    I don’t want to give too much since the rotting food likely caused the issue in the first place. At the same time, I want him to have tons to eat while I’m gone. I’ve decided since half his body appears to be getting pale now to put him in my spare snail tank. Put a full dose of kana in and some prime as the nitrates get pretty high in there. Put some algae wafers too. With any luck he will feed for a week and that will last him for the second week. I sadly don’t have high hopes with the way he is looking so this seems to be the best option to both feed and keep him from potentially spreading disease. Plus if he does die in that tank the snails will decompose the body with ease and the water will be the same as it normally is in that tank which is not great but good enough to maintain some sort of snail life cycle.
  13. coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Letting a fish die in the tank is the most common form of transmitting disease to others in tank going..
    If you think he is going to die do the others in the tank a favor and pull the little guy out ..
  14. angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Why do the nitrates get high on the snail tank? Can you change a bunch of water to get them down? Nitrates aren't good for a sick fish. No other fish showing similar symptoms now?
  15. ShelillaValued MemberMember

    That’s what I did, put him in the snail tank. He actually looks better than I thought when I took him out the net and into the bag. Just a bit skinny. No signs of healing/fins growing back yet though, but no signs of further decay either.

    That tank gets high nitrates because I give the snails a bunch of food (often vegetables but sometimes algae wafers if I’m being lazy/don’t have the time- algae wafers are also way cleaner if not eaten immediately) every couple weeks. And water changes far less often than one should for a tank that size (1.5g or so). I just don’t really care about the snails, they’re hitchhikers and pests that were chewing holes in my plant leaves in the old tank. This spare tank is for quarantine or a hospital if I desperately need it.

    For the most part it’s an experimental tank where I’ve observed how adding things to the water affects the health/size/life cycle of the snails. They are always calcium deficient for some reason and the upkeep for getting them constant calcium isn’t worth it to me. I’ve tried feeding kale before, and powdered calcium, but it would have to be consistently given to be effective I think. Giving them more food lets them grow to a larger size before they die and they lay less eggs, less food is a far shorter lifespan with many eggs. They eat the shells of their dead for calcium I think. Many are incredibly stupid and will go right over the filter intake (a small hole that isn’t that high of suction I’d think) and die and block it. That’s kinda annoying but not sure how to stop it without blocking material to be filtered as well.
    The bladder snails have mostly died off now but the ramshorns took over and are the majority.

    I’ve tried to get plants growing there with leaves that pop off my main plants but they never take and are constantly uprooted and floating. I think the snails do it, it’s very irritating as it happens even if I bury it more than halfway or pin under a large rock.

    Nothing will spread any disease in that tank, except to the snails, which again I don’t care about. They have made a very interesting life cycle equilibrium.
  16. angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah pest snails don't do very well in my soft water either. They only survive in my pleco growout cuz they get lots of food. I think if you fed them kale continuously like you say, they'd have enough calcium to survive and look well. Or maybe supplement water or food with calcium carbonate? I get it though, I'm not heartbroken I can't keep pest snails. I'm saying definitely don't add anything while your otto is fighting illness though. Lots of water changes are beneficial for him though.