neon tetra with fungus, plus assorted tank problems. Why??? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 04:23 AM
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So is this aquasoil on bottom layer?

Anyway all your symptoms would have me looking at possible anaerobic/anoxic conditions in substrate. That big pile in center back possibly the sand/soil is to deep for good gas/circulation to reach bottom layers of aquasoil. High organics in lower layers (aquasoil) when deprived of oxygen and circulation will basically start rotting and slowly releasing sulfide sand methane into tank (poisioning tank). Itís position would let those sulfide sand methane rising up out of that mound being pulled into filter intake and/or blown around tank by filters output stream.

If it was my tank I would remove top of that sand layer flattening it out to about same 1.5Ē of sand shown in rest of tank. The way Aquaclear flows youíve probably got a pretty good sweep of water pushing micro-currents at front and around to front sides but that area at back is a dead zone, crypts and arrangement by time water flows around to that area itís practically non-existent.

If you want I can instruct you how to build a lift vent with that airstone that will keep that deep area saturated with gases which will make anaerobic areas go away and you can keep that mound.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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@DaveKS Thanks! Yes, AquaSoil.

What you're saying is really interesting but I think there's an optical illusion in that photo that may be misleading. There's no pile -- the substrate is flat, with 1 to 1.5 inches white sand on top of the AquaSoil throughout. I'll upload a photo taken from another angle so you can see.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Yes, repeat every 24 hours until better.

I've done five days of one-hour dips, and I'm not seeing improvement. The fish still eats and swims totally fine, but the fungus is ugly-looking, probably worse than when I started.


Change strategies?
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dorian444 View Post
I've done five days of one-hour dips, and I'm not seeing improvement. The fish still eats and swims totally fine, but the fungus is ugly-looking, probably worse than when I started.


Change strategies?
Use an antibiotic. The fungus is secondary to bacterial infection. Use API Furan 2 or product containing active ingredient nitrofurazone in hospital tank.


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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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@Discusluv. I don't have a second/hospital tank, and sadly I don't have the bandwidth in my life to create a whole second setup (swamped working parent). I think my options are to move the fish to a container that would not have a filter etc, euthanize, treat the whole tank, or some plan that involves dips/baths.

EDIT to add: I just read that hospital tanks don't necessarily need a filter or a fancy setup. Plus no heater needed this time of year. Maybe I'll move my sick tetra to a container (1/2 gallon is where I've been doing the dips) and treat with API Furan 2 there -- is that a reasonable plan?

While I'm waiting to get my hands on the Furan 2 should I continue with the dips, or stop since I'm not seeing improvement? Being caught daily is stressful, I'm sure.

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dorian444 View Post
@DaveKS Thanks! Yes, AquaSoil.

What you're saying is really interesting but I think there's an optical illusion in that photo that may be misleading. There's no pile -- the substrate is flat, with 1 to 1.5 inches white sand on top of the AquaSoil throughout. I'll upload a photo taken from another angle so you can see.
OK, that looks better. But still to me your symptoms still points to some anaerobic activity going on in tank. The crypt plant roots will prevent anaerobic activity in areas they reach, they actually release oxygen in the process of uptaking nutrients.

Either that or your just way behind on your cleaning/waste management. Get a turkey baster and go around and puff into the mass of crypts and also into moss/branches on right. You might be surprised at how much excess waste is trapped in those areas. Even pick up moss ball and blow right into it, youíll be amazed at how much waste will be trapped in there. After you blow that stuff up with baster let filter run for a few minutes to pick up that debris floating around and then change water and clean filter pads.
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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@DaveKS I have a turkey baster for the tank and I'll do some aggressive basting as you suggest!
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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@DaveKS and @Discusluv: Update and seeking more guidance!

I did aggressive turkey-basting of the plants bases and moss ball, and WOW! So much disgusting brown gunk. I think this is a really helpful breakthrough. When the plants were newer I was cautious about suctioning there so I wouldn't uproot them, but clearly I left the alone far too much during water changes. I hope that after a second round of this I'll turn a corner in being able to keep nitrates lower for longer stretches, and have overall improved water quality. (Parameters have looked good overall for some time now.)

In the meantime, I've got more sick neon tetras now: two with fungus (one that I had treated with Paraguard dips five times), one with a pointy belly (cyst?). Plus other issues I've had for months: the one adult female endler who often has a clamped fin and swims with her tail too low, and a bunch of baby endlers who look too thin, not enough curve to their bellies. A sad state of affairs! To the naked eye, the fish that looks sickest is the first one that had fungus.

So ... what action, if any, should I take for the fish at this point? I did buy Furan-2 but haven't used it yet. I could move any of the fish to a separate container that would not have a filter. I could put my airstone in it for water movement.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 08:09 AM
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Yep sounds like you found source of your declining water quality. Keep after it with many small water changes, baster blowing and filter cleanings. If your not dosing tank with any meds consider putting a nice size bag of carbon in on top Aquaclear foam. It will probably be shot in about a week or less but as you get caught up on your waste removal and things turn around consider just doing it maybe 1wk a month on carbon.

I myself would probably also consider thinning out that clump of crypts to about half that mass.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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@DaveKS Thin out the crypts so there's less place for food/waste to get stuck? I do like the look of the plants and the baby endlers hide there. Could I divide and plant in a different part of the tank? Or do you think that amount is just bad news?

I'm feeling really lost about whether I should do anything to try to treat the various fish health issues, besides improving water quality. Sit tight and see what improves just with the better water? Treat the whole tank? I feel like I'm dealing with at least four different symptoms so choosing a treatment feels overwhelming -- it's something I know so little about.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 04:20 PM
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I think what you are dealing with is columnaris or aeromonas-- both bacterial. This is a consequence of stress from water quality, lowering of immunity, secondary condition- bacterial infection.

You need to treat the bacterial infection ( which is both external and internal) in either a quarantine tank or the display. Dips will not be adequate here, nor will any container that doesn't contain a heater, air-pump, and daily/frequent water changes to keep water quality from making the illness worse.

This is why mixing fish with plants, invertebrates, etc... when you dont have a quarantine tank to move them to when fish get sick complicates things.

This is what I recommend: treat all fish with nitrofurazone ( active ingredient in API Furan 2) AND kanamycin ( active ingredient in Seachem Kanaplex). Or can order separately from these 2 companies: angelsplus.com or jehmco.com. Read instructions on box for dosage/length of daily dosage as the active ingredient concentration differs between the retail (API and SEACHEM) and the 100% powders get from the other 2 sources.

Yes, plants will be effected in display and invertebrates may be effected. Take them out of your display and put in temporary container. Or, set up a quarantine.
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 08:54 PM
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No I meant keep size of clump or even increase slightly and maybe even start a another small clump elsewhere in tank. But just thin out density so itís easier to clean in between them so they wonít be such a detritus trap.

No down side to having more crypts in tank, they get planted and are long standing crown plants, unlike stem plants which usually get roots pulled up every 3-4week and recropped, they will spread roots out along lower levels of substrate and generate oxygen in substrate during nutrient uptake preventing any anaerobic activity there.

But could be now that youíve got things cleaner and keep at it, once you get fish treated per Discusluv advice you wonít see this flare up again. As she pointed out it probably all started as a water quality issue and what your seeing is secondary infections because of that. Also once you unearthed all that festering gunk you caused a nice spike in detrimental water quality, lots of modest water changes and a big bag of carbon in filter are probably best things you can do right now as far as the tank itself is concerned.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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When you say "thin out" I assume you mean pull of some of the leaves from the center of the plants so it's less dense?

Is it possible to thin out the current clump of crypts and re-plant those plants elsewhere? I assume I can't root the leaves I pull out.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 11:57 PM
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Pull up whole clump and replant with fewer crowns overall, say 1 crown every 1.5-2Ē. If your going to prune crypts you remove the oldest outer leaves and leave fresh new leaves in center.

Managing crown plants and managing stem plants are completely different.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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@Discusluv I'm back, with no real progress to report. ☹️ I've followed all the instructions and dosed my tank with both Furan-2 and KanaPlex. Sadly, I don't see any change or improvement. I still have one neon tetra who appears to have a fungus (as you may recall I also did 3 days of dips for this fish), and one adult female endler whose tail sinks too low when she rests -- her body doesn't stay as horizontal as other endlers.

Earlier I had also treated with General Cure.

I'm kind of surprised that both fish are still alive -- the endler has behaved like this for months now -- and that the fungus hasn't spread to other fish. Maybe it's only a matter of time. The nitrates level has improved over these recent months, as has the quality of food I'm feeding.

I'm at a loss. Is there more I should try? Should I euthanize the tetra with fungus to prevent other fish from getting sick? It swims and eats fine.
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