White slime of death... - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 01:53 AM
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Potassium permanganate is good also for making net dips.
I second this, though I'll note that it has dyed some of my nets and sponges brown or black.

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..and makes a good fish dip (bath) to help cure columaris. The recommend concetration is twice the recommend tank dosing amount, for 30 minutes (in a separate container, not the tank).
I successfully cured a silver molly of columaris using this dip method. It was surprisingly effective (I had pretty much written off the infected fish). It got rid of the columaris very quickly.

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post #17 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 02:07 AM
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The dreaded flex. Did you recently kick up the heater in the tank or house? Aquamaniacs had a boom in flex cases in the spring and summer of 2005 when temps shot up, you can read about it in their disease ezine. From that article, "A Flexibacter infection will be more severe if it is due to a sudden rise in temperature and if your fish are in hard, alkaline water."

Poor water quality is usually the culprit, but in times like these, good chance for temp swings. You do not have to wait for another fish to bring it in like a parasite, it is bacterial, always waiting for it's time to shine.

If the stuff you're using doesn't work, use Kanamycin (Kanaplex) or Erythromycin (Maracyn) [correction, maracyn 2. Thnx cjp] in the water column, preferably the former. Feed living, infected fish antibiotic food (preferably treated with Kana) in a hospital tank.


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post #18 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 02:16 AM
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it seems that constant clean water is a better solution. The meds just waste my money and gives the disease more time to spread.
True about water quality. Meds can be tricky with strong, resistant bugs like this. That's why it's safer to start with a strong, proven med that hasn't been around for ages. Also, treat the full dose for the recommended time frame, no half way attempts or you can create a bigger monster. If you're going to war, bring out the big guns and have no mercy.


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post #19 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 02:31 AM
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The dreaded flex. Did you recently kick up the heater in the tank or house? Aquamaniacs had a boom in flex cases in the spring and summer of 2005 when temps shot up, you can read about it in their disease ezine. From that article, "A Flexibacter infection will be more severe if it is due to a sudden rise in temperature and if your fish are in hard, alkaline water."

Poor water quality is usually the culprit, but in times like these, good chance for temp swings. You do not have to wait for another fish to bring it in like a parasite, it is bacterial, always waiting for it's time to shine.

If the stuff you're using doesn't work, use Kanamycin (Kanaplex) or Erythromycin (Maracyn) in the water column, preferably the former. Feed living, infected fish antibiotic food (preferably treated with Kana) in a hospital tank.
From what I read, the "poor water quality" reason is somewhat misleading. Poor water quality, like many other things (including the sudden temp rise you mentioned), stresses the fish, leaving it susceptible to infection, so the reason for the onset of columnaris can be more generally described as anything that causes the fish stress or weakens it's immune system.

I was planning on using the Kanamycin / Triple Sulfa combo next if Furan-2 doesn't eliminate it. As for Maracyn, although I often seen it recommended, I also read that this may be incorrect advise. Flexibacter is gram-negative while Maracyn fights gram-positive bacteria. See the following:

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Columnaris.html
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post #20 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 03:13 AM
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Yes, sorry, Maracyn 2 for gram -. I don't use them much, when I did I used both together.

When mentioning water quality and temp, it's not an all around cause description, just common factors. Yes, you can probably stress a fish into it in many ways but it's very common to happen in a few ways.


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post #21 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 03:46 AM
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Somewhere else meaning you used it in a tank that was not one of your own?

Also keep in mind that I believe columnaris can lurk in a tank indefinitely. I've seen this mentioned more than once, but I'm not sure if it is true. I've also seen statements saying that most tank of columnaris. However, I've also seen these same statement said of ich, which is definitely not true.
Yeah, it was for a friend. He wanted fish at his wedding, and wanted me to set it up for him. When you say indefinitely, you mean if untreated? I hit the tank with a long treatment of Maracyn 2 after that incident. I really hope it's gone. I haven't had any deaths in a long time (well, up until the heater incident).

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post #22 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 04:39 AM
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When you say indefinitely, you mean if untreated? I hit the tank with a long treatment of Maracyn 2 after that incident. I really hope it's gone. I haven't had any deaths in a long time (well, up until the heater incident).
I'm not sure. I would think antibiotics (at least the ones that are affective) would wipe it out from the entire tank. However, I think the point is that the bacteria is so prevalent that you are likely to end up with it in your tank again.

I'm only treating it in the main tank where I first saw it, plus the hospital tank. However, my guess is that I have it in my other tanks also, so it will soon end up in my main tank again. If the conditions are right for an outbreak in the main tank, it will likely happen again. The key is to avoid the conditions that allow columnaris to take hold.
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post #23 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 05:08 AM
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Although all my fish are acting healthy and the mollies seem to be clear of any signs of columnaris, the angel still has the small mark. Still got another day or two of the Furan-2 to go.

I was going to go with Triple Sulfa for the next round, but thought Maracyn II might be better. However, I just found out that Maracyn II (tetracycline) does not work with pH above 7.5, and mine is 8.1, so I guess Maracyn II is out of the question for me.

Kanamycin is suppose to more effective at high pH, but I can't find any locally, so looks like it will be at least a weak before I can get any.

To add to my complication, I just noticed that my ammonia is now about .20. Looks like the Furan-2 or pimafix killed off the beneficial bacteria. I decided that ammo chips would be a good idea, but did some research first to make sure it's ok to use with meds. What I found out is that it can't be used if you've added salt to the tank, and I added 1tbs per 5g. Crap. Looks like I'll need to pull a filter from another tank to use as a stop gap, and then do a 100% water change when I'm done with the Furan-2 treatment.
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post #24 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 02:39 PM
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I wouldn't pull a filter over from another tank, you not only will wipe out the N-bacteria in that filter, but you'll have one more filter to completely sterilize when you're done.

I'd just do water changes and replace the meds you pull out with the changes. I generally do 50% water changes to make the math easier on how much med to replace.





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post #25 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 03:32 PM
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I considered that, but I have plenty of extra filter pads to go around, and they are easy to sterilize in boiling water. I left one in overnight and that took care of the ammonia. I'll pull it out now, rinse it, and let it soak in an "ammonia bath". If I see the ammonia go up again, hopefully it will be ready for reuse by then.

One problem with water changes and dead n-bacteria is that you don't eliminate the ammonia. You just reduce it by the % of water you change out. So if you start with .25 ammonia, you need 3 water changes to get it below .05, and that assumes no new ammonia is being produced.

Tomorrow my current treatment ends. I'll probably do a 100% water change then, add ammo chips, and watch the fish to see how the progress.
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post #26 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 02:43 AM
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The filter pad swap worked well. After letting it soak in some ammonia during the day, I rinsed it and put it back in the tank in the evening since the ammonia was up a bit again (maybe .10). It again cleared it overnight. I've since done a 100% water change to remove the salt and am now using ammo chips.
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post #27 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 03:08 PM
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I'm not really sure what you're doing, keeping a live cartridge in a bowl of ammonia then putting it in your filter to deal with your ammonia problem? Whatever it is I'm glad it's working for you, but what are your nitrates reaching while you do this? One problem with not doing water changes to combat nitrogen is that it all gets converted to nitrate, which is also toxic at a certain level. Of course it's all fine and dandy if the plants are fast enough for it, but if that's the case then there probably wouldn't be any ammonia to begin with since they like that too. Water changes also get rid of unknowns and balance other parameters. A power head or pump that pushes 6 feet, with a long hose attached makes water changes a breeze. I have never heard anyone come up with reasoning against doing water changes, that just sounds strange to me, no offense. Back to back water changes is nothing new to me and sometimes it has to be done. Your ammonia bath sounds intriguing, though, are you mixing a certain ppm? I was under the impression that too high of an ammonia level will eventually kill the bacteria, too. Where are these before they go in the amm bath, are they coming from another tank, why not keep them in the other tank? Sorry, I'm missing something here and am just trying to understand why you're putting the filter pads in ammonia.


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post #28 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 04:19 PM
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I didn't want to do a water change because the medication instructions called for one dosing, and then wait 4 days before doing a water change in a second does. I said I was using Furan-2, which calls for daily dosing, but had actually switched to Tank Buddies Fungus Clear (some ingredients as Furan-2), which calls for a dosing every 4 days. I had a couple of days left in this 4 day dosing, and so it was easier to grab another cycled filter pad (and possibly have it get nuked by the medication) then to do a water change. I took the filter pad out after about 8 hours when the ammonia had cleared in hopes this would spare the pad getting wiped out by the medication (actually Pimafix, which I was also dosing) which was killing the n-bacteria, and this seems to have work. I kept it in some water with some ammonia (about 5ppm) during this time to help it recover (not a fish tank). Moving a filter pad from a hospital tank to another tank would be a really bad idea.

As for nitrates, heck, mine are already 40ppm+ out of the tap. If I have any fish that can't tolerate relatively high nitrates, they would have died long ago. Also, given the stocking in the hospital tank, nitrates wouldn't go up by more than a 1-2 ppm per week. Keep in mind with about 16 hours of no ammonia filtration, ammonia only went up to .10ppm, so this implies about 1ppm per week.

As for any other bad stuff accumulating, this tank has had more water changes the past 11 days than I care to count. Other than ammonia at the time (which is now resolved), nothing is accumulating it to levels which may be a concern.
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post #29 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 06:37 PM
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A cichlid site I also belong to suggested lots of large water changes and treatment with a combo of Maracyn and Maracyn II. Expensive meds so it is worthwhile to treat in a smaller tank. I caught columnaris in its very early stages and got it cleared up, but it did require continual dosing with water changes in between. One fish looked almost as bad as the pic you posted and it did not recover, but several other fish had symptoms as well and all pulled through. It's very hard to cure, and often has done more damage than can be reversed. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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post #30 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:35 AM
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OK, makes sense now. I would've probably used a half a bottle of Prime within those four days, but sounds like you have a method to your madness. Have you ever thought of getting an RO unit for those nitrates? Might take a big weight off your shoulders, I love it.


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