confirmed NTD all new fish dead, now what?
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
Arv
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confirmed NTD all new fish dead, now what?


so I got 6 new cardinal tetras that died from NTD (no they are not immune to NTD as some think) in a matter or days. Now aside from bleaching heater and my HOB and replacing media and water changes/vac substrate. what else can I do to get rid of the nasties that are currently in my QT/grow out tank. I can't nuke the tank since its got some trap door(which I can actually remove) and ramshorn snails (too many to remove but doable) and I guess move the plants to a bucket.

Do I need to replace the pea sized gravel? Its not much plus I kept big sized gravel to ease vac'g in case of ich. Bleach the big rocks?

Is all this Overkill? Or do the sporozoan/parasites need FISH in particular as hosts? Would they survive in my trap door/ramshorn snails, gravel, rocks, xmas fern, and plants?

How long do I wait until I try getting some again? The LFS said they can get me new ones whenever I am ready and they will keep it for observation. Or forget that source since the fish probably came in infected and since NTD is incurable the new batch will probably have it too. Or would it be safe 2 months from now.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
Diana
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It is not overkill to try to sterilize everything that can tolerate such treatment. Here are a few possible ways, but you will have to research which is most active against NTD.

1) Chemical bath followed by deativator. NEVER combine chemicals in one treatment. Treat, deactivate, then follow up with something else.

Chlorine bleach, followed by lots of rinsing and double dose of dechlor. Very good for breaking down organic matter, such as the bio film that many microorganisms live in when they live on surfaces in the tank.

Rubbing Alcohol, followed by let it evaporate. This one will kill mycobacteriosis when chlorine is used first to break down the organic film where they hide.

Hydrogen Peroxide, followed by rinse. Sunlight also deactivates it. I would look for the stronger material, not the standard 3% that is available almost anywhere. Slosh it on all over. A tiny trace remaining in the tank after treatment is no big deal.

Potassium permanganate, followed by hydrogen peroxide. Read all cautions.

Metricide (Excel), followed by rinse. Gotta look up dose and duration, and if a strong dose will kill NTD. I think if you start with a dry tank and wipe it down really well with this material... Follow all cautions on the label. A tiny trace remaining in the tank after treatment is no big deal.

Salt, followed by rinse. Here is how: Warm some water on the stove. Add as much salt as will dissolve in the warm water. Allow it to cool to tepid. Slosh it on all parts of the tank, equipment and decor. A tiny bit remaining in the tank is no big deal. Dry salt is an abrasive that can scratch acrylic tanks, but is safe for glass. Good way to remove stuck-on algae.

Other...

2) Heat treatment:
Good for substrate, driftwood, rocks, most filter media. dunno if it kills NTD, or at what temp for how long.
Put damp substrate in the oven and bake it dry. The steam generated by the baking will kill a lot of things. Allow it to fully cool before handling or getting it wet again. Note: Soil type of substrates will STINK!!! If there is any way you can do this outdoors, that is better. Got a BBQ?

Solarize is another way to bake the substrate etc. It is best in the warmest part of the year. Build a box out of something like 2 x 12, plywood bottom, insulate it, and add a glass top. Spread out the damp substrate as thin as you can on a tray. Leave it in there several days, moving the box to align it with the sun. Stir the substrate if it is deeper than about an inch or so. If you put an oven thermometer in there you can see that it can get really hot in there!

Other notes:
I do not know if snails are a carrier. They could be an indirect carrier:
If the disease survives in the water then how do you know you have done enough water changes to completely remove all the NTD organisms? What is the life span without a host? I would keep the snails isolated for perhaps triple that time, with LOTS AND LOTS of water changes. Bare bottom tank, if possible. Less places to hide the organism.

I would never trust that wholesaler again. Find out who it is, or at least get a guarantee from the store that the next batch of fish come from a different wholesaler, different hatchery. Perhaps find a local breeder.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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NTD kills in weeks, not days. Your cardinals were killed by something else, likely a treatable bacterial infection. It's a common misdiagnosis. See my recent thread for more details:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=474425
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
NTD kills in weeks, not days. Your cardinals were killed by something else, likely a treatable bacterial infection. It's a common misdiagnosis. See my recent thread for more details:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=474425
I just looked at your post and there's really not much info there regarding NTD, you did point out some things but without pictures its hard to picture what you mean. Can you refer me to where you got your info or where you are basing your conclusions on?

As far as what I have observed vs what I have researched it really looks like NTD:

loss of color, on a few fish it started just below the dorsal fin. Its not the loss of color as in fading but the area is gray and not just washed out blue or red, looks like its a problem that is coming from the inside and is finally showing up on the surface.

loss of control, difficulty swimming

curved spine (not on all)

secondary infection fin rot

locked jaw (only observed on one)

infected fish does not school

lethargic

I didn't bookmark the pages that I got the info from but one thing I also recall that when the symtoms finally shows up that it only takes a few days to take its course. So at least one fish was probably already infected and while they were all in the shipping bag they ate infected poop and infected tissue during fin nipping. Or they were all infected and the stress was the final blow.
Of course the symptoms that I stated above are symptoms of other diseases/infections but like other people have said its very difficult to differentiate between NTD and False NTD. So I'd really like to know what you are basing your statements on so I can compare it to what I have observed.

Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
It is not overkill to try to sterilize everything that can tolerate such treatment. Here are a few possible ways, but you will have to research which is most active against NTD.

1) Chemical bath followed by deativator. NEVER combine chemicals in one treatment. Treat, deactivate, then follow up with something else.

Chlorine bleach, followed by lots of rinsing and double dose of dechlor. Very good for breaking down organic matter, such as the bio film that many microorganisms live in when they live on surfaces in the tank.

Rubbing Alcohol, followed by let it evaporate. This one will kill mycobacteriosis when chlorine is used first to break down the organic film where they hide.

Hydrogen Peroxide, followed by rinse. Sunlight also deactivates it. I would look for the stronger material, not the standard 3% that is available almost anywhere. Slosh it on all over. A tiny trace remaining in the tank after treatment is no big deal.

Potassium permanganate, followed by hydrogen peroxide. Read all cautions.

Metricide (Excel), followed by rinse. Gotta look up dose and duration, and if a strong dose will kill NTD. I think if you start with a dry tank and wipe it down really well with this material... Follow all cautions on the label. A tiny trace remaining in the tank after treatment is no big deal.

Salt, followed by rinse. Here is how: Warm some water on the stove. Add as much salt as will dissolve in the warm water. Allow it to cool to tepid. Slosh it on all parts of the tank, equipment and decor. A tiny bit remaining in the tank is no big deal. Dry salt is an abrasive that can scratch acrylic tanks, but is safe for glass. Good way to remove stuck-on algae.

Other...

2) Heat treatment:
Good for substrate, driftwood, rocks, most filter media. dunno if it kills NTD, or at what temp for how long.
Put damp substrate in the oven and bake it dry. The steam generated by the baking will kill a lot of things. Allow it to fully cool before handling or getting it wet again. Note: Soil type of substrates will STINK!!! If there is any way you can do this outdoors, that is better. Got a BBQ?

Solarize is another way to bake the substrate etc. It is best in the warmest part of the year. Build a box out of something like 2 x 12, plywood bottom, insulate it, and add a glass top. Spread out the damp substrate as thin as you can on a tray. Leave it in there several days, moving the box to align it with the sun. Stir the substrate if it is deeper than about an inch or so. If you put an oven thermometer in there you can see that it can get really hot in there!

Other notes:
I do not know if snails are a carrier. They could be an indirect carrier:
If the disease survives in the water then how do you know you have done enough water changes to completely remove all the NTD organisms? What is the life span without a host? I would keep the snails isolated for perhaps triple that time, with LOTS AND LOTS of water changes. Bare bottom tank, if possible. Less places to hide the organism.

I would never trust that wholesaler again. Find out who it is, or at least get a guarantee from the store that the next batch of fish come from a different wholesaler, different hatchery. Perhaps find a local breeder.
Wow! Thanks for all the info but I really need more info on NTD before I tear down my grow out tank. I guess the most important thing to find out is if these nasties can survive outside a fish and how long and if snails and plants are viable hosts. I'm in no hurry to get more fish so I can wait a few months.

The thing is even if I tear down my tank, soak the plants in bleach or pot perm (which I have) and the snails are still carriers (either internally or just as hitch hikers on the outside) the tank will be infected again when I put them back.

Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arv View Post
Can you refer me to where you got your info or where you are basing your conclusions on?
Given how easy it is to confuse true NTD with other diseases, unfortunately a lot of the info out there is based on incorrect diagnoses. It takes a microscopic examination to definitively diagnose NTD, and few people are able to do that.

So we're left with diagnosing based on external symptoms. Or perhaps treating with antibiotics that will eliminate impostors and seeing what happens.

But there is one additional distinguishing factor that has never been reported by any reliable source, anywhere that I can find. What is the timeline and progression of real and verified NTD?

You can at least look up anecdotal reports here and elsewhere, and you'll notice they tend to fall into two groups:

1) Progression from onset of symptoms to death in a couple of days or less (sometimes even hours).
2) Progression in weeks.

With very little in the middle. And with such a clearly different progression rate, these deaths should not be all attributable to the same disease.

Here is an example report with progression in weeks:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?...turning-white/

I have had the opportunity to observe what I believe is true NTD on several occasions, and it was very much like what the above report described.

On the first occasion, although it fit the visual diagnosis perfectly, I was aware that visual diagnosis is not accurate. So I allowed the neon to remain in the tank. A few weeks later it disappeared, presumed dead but I never found the corpse. And a few weeks after that, several more neons simultaneously started displaying the symptoms. This is a classic hallmark of NTD, that it spreads primarily by consumption of the corpse by other fish.

At that point, I still left the neons in the tank, but in a breeder box. When they started dieing a few weeks later, I removed each before it had a chance to start decomposing. There was no further spread of the disease.

So I'm as sure as I can be without a microscope that this was real NTD, and that this is how it progresses. Any time there is rapid progression I know it's something else.

Other experiences back that up as well. For example, in my neon tetras thread, I didn't mention something. In one successful batch, one of the neons had intermediate-stage symptoms of real NTD which I didn't notice until I got it home. Based on prior experiences, I knew I had time before it died and the disease would be likely to spread, so I left it in to see what would happen. The antibiotics did not cure it (another hallmark), with symptoms slightly worse after seven days, at which point I culled it.

As for the symptoms you described, many of those are fairly generic, and could be caused by multiple diseases.

One actually rules against NTD. Real NTD causes depigmentation with underlying cysts, which appear white and bumpy. Columnaris causes depigmentation with loss of the outer layer of tissue, which appears gray - and which is what you described.

This picture appears to show both NTD to the right and columnaris on the left:



Another picture which shows real NTD:



But sometimes it's still not so easy to distinguish between the two, so use the progression rate. You lost the fish within a few days. If it were real NTD, the symptoms should have already been visible and advanced at time of purchase, and I assume you would not have accepted the fish if they were all in that poor a condition.
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