Ich, Columnaris? Fungal, Bacterial? Please help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: denver, pa
Posts: 2
Unhappy Ich, Columnaris? Fungal, Bacterial? Please help?

I'm not sure what to do with my fish because I'm not exactly sure what they had. I was treating them with Microbe-lift Herbatan and took the carbon out when I originally thought it was ich, but then my fish started to pile up on top of each other on the bottom in the corner of the tank. Their color started to get dull on their backs and heads and started having white blotches. Now their fins are starting to deteriorate and have cotton like stuff on their mouths, scales, hanging from their fins. It doesn't necessarily look like the fungus tho. When I thought it was ich, I increased the water temp and added salt and did a 40% water change. Then after reading, I thought it was columnaris and took the heater out and bought quick cure and tetracycline. I have put the quick cure in but not sure if I can use tetracyline with it. It's a 55 gallon tank with mollies and guppies. Before I started treating them with the Microbe-lift about 3 days ago, I tested the water and the ammonia was at .25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, PH 7.6. I tested the water again last night after the water change and everything was the same except the PH was up to 8.0. I put in PH down since it was a little high. I have video and pictures, but the pictures are not very good since the fish keep moving. Some now lay at the bottom still and now most are swimming in the flow of the filter. So far I have lost over half my fish. I have had the tank well over a year and never had problems like this. Although we recently added the guppies. I also have a video which is probably the best to see. I hope this link works. http://youtu.be/C8hPm8FrmR0

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cindyhall72 is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 03:48 AM
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I think you have a bacterial problem going on.
Probably combined with ammonia problems. Ammonia is toxic at very low levels when the pH is above neutral.
Ammonia burns the tender tissue in the gills and the fins, so the ragged fin-rot look could be from ammonia. It also is very stressful to the fish and this can make them more susceptible to diseases.
Whether the tissue is burned by ammonia or injured by a bacteria, fungi can move in on the damaged tissue. The tips of the fins that look a bit white are typical of fungus moving in on fins that are compromised. (Second picture- looks like a Platy)

Mollies and Guppies are fine with salt, and high pH, and hard water. I would not use pH down with them. Salt can help them deal with stress. These fish can handle a lot more salt than live plants would be OK with, so dose a small amount and see if it helps. 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons is a fairly low dose, and many plants are OK with that. You could double it, but maybe take some cuttings first and save them in another tank.

At this point I would do a couple of really big water changes with the goal of getting the ammonia under control.
More things to help with ammonia:
Feed less. If they will eat a food with antibiotics that would be the best.
Add nitrifying bacteria. Read the label and look for Nitrospira species of bacteria. Nitrospira is not actually the one that handles ammonia, but companies that include it in their cycle products also have the correct ammonia removing microorganisms.
Add lots of live plants. Even if it is just trimmings from another tank. Floating near the light, these plants will take in plenty of ammonia.
Use a dechlorinator that specifies that it locks up ammonia. Make sure your test kit is compatible with the dechlor, so you know what the Ammonia test is telling you.

Never combine meds unless both are labeled for use with each other.
By treating them with oral antibiotics there are less antibiotics in the water, so the nitrifying bacteria can make a recovery and get going on the ammonia problem.
If you need to treat the fish by adding meds to the water then the nitrifying bacteria will not reproduce so fast, so ammonia removal will be up to you for a while.

Although we recently added the guppies.
Always use a quarantine tank!
Diana is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: denver, pa
Posts: 2
Thank you

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I have added stress coat which says it helps chlorination of the water. Both the quick cure and tetracycline are API products but they do not say they can be used with each other or not. How do you feed them food with the antibiotic in it? I was wondering if somehow I could add the tetracycline to the food? I usually only feed them flakes and some shrimp pellets. I will get more live plants tomorrow and do another big water change. There are 3 more dead fish since I posted this earlier. I will definitely get a qt tank. I have never seen anything like this before. The day I put the guppies in the tank, I took some Plattys (I meant plattys, not mollies sorry) out of the 55 gallon tank and put them in our 150 gallon. They are doing fine, thank goodness. I also have some fry that seem to be doing fine. I will check my kit and see what it says. At this rate, all my fish will be gone by tomorrow. I was up till 5 this morning searching the internet for help. So again. THANK YOU!
cindyhall72 is offline  

bacterial, columnaris, dying fish., fungus, ich

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