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Columbian tetras are sick - diagnosis?

5061 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  jaidexl
Hello all. Two of my seven Columbian tetras appear to be fighting for life.
The thing is, I've never seen a fish hang on for this long (4-5 days now). Usually, if they seem sick or dying, they're dead within a day or a few hours.

Symptom: skin has patchy black markings, as opposed to the healthy ones, who have a clean, shiny silverish-blue color. The gills also appear inflamed. I can actually see the gill filaments as the gill plates have either shrunk or are constantly flexed outwards. The fish will hover down near the bottom hovering kind of sideways (like they're dying), but then later I'll see them swimming with the other fish (though not as lively).

I could try taking a picture tonight, but I worry that my camera will not capture a good, clear shot of this.

I did a search on google for fish diseases and found this website:

I read this symptom, which seems similar, but it doesn't address the gill problem and I don't want to euthanize if I'm not 100% certain.

Q: One part of my fish has turned black and there is swelling underneath the area.
A: Sounds like a Melanocarcinoma (tumor), that has pinched off the color controlling nerves of the fish

Treatment: No suitable treatment known. Sacrifice this fish humanely.

Any ideas? I don't mind euthanizing (if I can catch them), but I'm mainly concerned about whether it's treatable or whether this can be contageous to other fish. All of the other fish and shrimp in the tank appear perfectly healthy.

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Never seen this one before. I did a few searches..

"black patches - Myxobacteriosis"

This one mentions the possibility that the black patches are healing flesh damage, maybe they have some sort of flesh parasite.

Another "Myxobacteriosis", also "Black Spot(diplopstomiasis)"

And again, another Myxo

Hopefully you're just dealing with Myxo rather than a tumor, as it seems easy enough to treat with phenocide by Aquatronics. I would get them in QT just in case. Let us know how it goes and what else you find out. Good luck!
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Thanks for the response. Yes, based on reading those links you posted, it appears to be ammonia related and without a cure. One of the two fish died. I found his body floating the morning after I originally posted this. The other one is still hanging on.
There was a problem with ammonia (thanks to aquasoil leaching it when I moved things around) about a month ago, which caused me to lose several cardinal tetras, rummynose tetras and a few other fish. These ones lived, but apparently had ammonia burn on their skin and the red, exposed gills are from ammonia poisoning as well. I feed so bad. I won't be doing that again!
Next time I do any major work, I'll just have to remove all of the fish, even though it's a PITA.
Well at least you're a person who can admit mistakes and not blame it on something else. I've messed up too but have never seen that before, weird. And major bummers.
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