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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the short version. Longer story and way too many pictures on my 55 for Angelfish tank journal. So- week before last I adopted 5 angelfish. Stupidly put them straight into my 55gal (w/ one resident angelfish, 2 festivum cichlids and 4 kuhli loaches) because they looked healthy and the person I got them from said he hadn't had any fish/plant introductions or illness in his tank for the past 2 years. Day later realized it was more fish than I wanted, gave 3 of them away. There were some spawning attempts/ mild fighting and some of the fish got small pale patches on tail and pectoral fins. One of the new angels has white on her mouth. I thought it was improving off and on over this week but looking back closely at my photos I think it's been the same, or if anything getting worse.

I first saw the white on her mouth on 6/23. Started doing extra wc, daily. On 6/24 I had a heater fail and the temp dropped 5 degrees during the day before I got a repalcement in there. I kept it a little lower than it had been initially, because of the fungus. Because one other fish in the tank- festivum cichlid- also had white on the lip, and two of the other angelfish had what looks like mild red streaks under the skin- I decided to treat the whole tank w/Erythromycin. My older angel had those red streaks showing before and dosing twice w/Kanaplex didn't get rid of it, so that's why I decided to use Erythromycin.

I did the full treatment (4 doses w/a wc in the middle). Festivum looks fine now. White patches on fins are much smaller, nearly gone on the fishes that had them. The angel with white lip looks same or worse.

Current tank params-
Temp: 77
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 30-35 ppm

Nitrate higher than usual. I've rinsed the filter sponges, and replaced air stones in them so flow is better, and I'm adding pothos to the tank and doing bigger wc than I used to. My older angel looks fine now, festivums look great. Kuhli loaches are active and eating but very red around the gills/pectoral fin area. I don't know if this is from infection or disease- the same thing that made the angels have red streaks? or is it irritation from the medicine. I think my options are:

Just do daily wc, even twice a day, maybe adding salt
Do a second treatment round of Erythromycin
Treat w/something else- I have Kanaplex, could get Fugus Cure
Any of the above but on the two affected angelfish into QT, and just do wc on the main tank to clear out the remaining medication (water is still a bit foamy at the surface)

It will get pricey to keep treating my main tank, I don't even know if I can get more fish meds- the last time I was at the store they had very little to choose from. I feel like my best bet is to move the two younger angelfish to QT- as long as this isn't something lingering in the main tank I should keep treating for in there?? but I don't know if I should keep up with the Erythromycin or try something different.

Opinions appreciated.
 

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Sorry to hear your fish are sick, wishing them a speedy recovery.

I admit my knowledge of fish disease and treatment is almost zero, but one thing keeps sticking out to me. From my understanding erythromycin is an antibiotics not an antifungal, meaning it wouldn't have been very effective against the white patches if they are fungal in origin. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can confirm weather this is true.

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I dug into this some more and found that erythromycin is an antibiotic and does not treat fungal infections. However, many of the 'fungal' infections we encounter in the hobby are not a fungus but bacteria, hence the packaging. So it sounds like erythromycin was a good place to start.

Erythromycin is antibiotic that targets gram-positive bacteria. Since it didn't work on the white spots, that seems to suggest either a gram-negative bacteria or true fungal infection. Based on that it would seem that the next potential medication-based treatment option is either an anti-fungal or an antibiotic that targets gram-negative bacteria. The tricky part is figuring out which it is. Cotton mouth (not suggesting that's what this is, just what I was reading about) can refer to either a gram-negative bacterial infection or a true fungal infection that present in similar but not identical ways. Might be worth googling and comparing symptoms. Hopefully, someone with first-hand experience can chime in. A methylene blue dip might be an option worth looking into as it appears to be active against a wide range of infection types.

This link was one of the more helpful pages I found. It is from a manufacturer's website but goes into detail on the effectiveness of different medications and also gives information on bacterial vs. fungal cotton mouth. Not suggesting it is cotton mouth but it seems like it might be worth comparing symptoms. Fish Columnaris | Fungus & Saprolegnia | Treatment & Prevention

The above information is based on internet research so take it with a grain of salt but hopefully it helps. Which I could offer something more substantial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I figured I should put an update on here, though I've been posting way more about it in my tank journal. I've been pretty much doing daily wc all week- 30 or 40%. One day I had to skip, and the next day I did 50%. Nitrates have stayed just below or at 10 ppm. I also rinsed the other sponge filter, and am feeding more lightly- still three times a day but not quite as much (although this seems to make my festivum more cranky- tried target-feeding him extra but yesterday and today he's leery of my hand with the tweezers). I'm pretty sure they're still getting enough food as the gold angels have both plumped up and laid eggs, one after the other (each time one partnered with the silver angel, who at first ate the eggs, then helped defend what was left)!

The one I call Shirley still has a white blot on her lip, though it is smaller. I'm debating in my head if it would help to give her a salt bath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She finally seems to have cleared this. After weeks of keeping the tank cleaner than ever (and going to keep it that way!) her lip is almost completely normal. Only a small white mark in the middle reminds me of what she went through. More details are in my tank journal.
 
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