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Discussion Starter #1
G'day all,

I seem to be having a unlucky streak these past few days. Today I noticed one of my neon tetras in my 15 gallon planted tank was hanging out by himself and on a closer look I saw it has a small white growth on its mouth, kind of making it look like it has a flat nose. A quick google suggests its likely to be cottonmouth or columnaris. Having heard all the horror stories about columnaris decimating tanks, I immediately moved this neon to my CPD tank's empty hang-on breeder box (I stopped the air pump to cut it off from the main tank). I didn't think to acclimate the neon to its qt home, so I hope it will be ok.

Anyways how do I go about treating this neon as well as the entire 15 gallon tank? Here is the stocking:

1 Betta
2 Panda Cory
9 Neons
~20 cherry shrimp.

Last week I lost a Panda cory out of the blue, now I'm thinking perhaps it is something to do with this potential columnaris?

Water parameters:
Am - 0
N02 - 0
N02 - <5
Ph - 7.8
KH - 4/5
GH - 8/9
TDS - 208
Temp - 26

I do 30% water change once a week. These parameters were measured just before a scheduled water change, so things like TDS would usually be lower (I try to keep it around 140).

I can't seem to spot any other symptoms on any of the other fish. My main priority is to protect my betta!

This is my first time dealing with something like this. Any tips on medication and treatments would be appreciated!
I'll attach a picture of the neon just to confirm that it is in fact cottonmouth/columnaris.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kozlany,
Yeah I've come across a few articles but Im finding that most of their recommended treatments are not available in Australia :( such as kanamycin and nitrofurazone. I should've mentioned that I was based in Australia in my post.
From I can gather so far is that in Australia Melafix and aquarium salt is the best option, however Melafix is for fungal infections and from what I understand columnaris is bacterial? either way I already had melafix on hand as well as Aqua One Broad Spectrum Remedy which is used for "fungal, bacterial and parasitic diseases" with the active ingredients being Mafenide HCI, Aminacrine HCI and Malachite green.

Since I can't see any symptoms or abnormalities with the rest of the fish and shrimp in the tank, I am going to just try and treat affected neon I have quarantined. I'll use both Melafix and the Broad Spectrum Remedy in minimal amounts as the qt tank is a small breeder box of ~700ml. I used 0.5ml Melafix and 3 drops of BSR. Lets see how it goes. The white grown on the neon has indeed grown and I've noticed the fish is now eating and spitting out food when I go to feed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fish is still alive and I think the white growth has gotten smaller (i think) and so the treatment is working. Fish is still behaving normally and eating fine. Maybe it isn't columnaris and something else (possibly fungal) as the its been 8 days and the fish is still alive, unless it is a very slow type of columnaris.
 

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Fish is still alive and I think the white growth has gotten smaller (i think) and so the treatment is working. Fish is still behaving normally and eating fine. Maybe it isn't columnaris and something else (possibly fungal) as the its been 8 days and the fish is still alive, unless it is a very slow type of columnaris.
If fungal, the salt and malachite green should be adequate in treating if condition hasnt progressed to an internal bacterial infection. Of course, fungal infection indicates bacterial infection. True fungus in aquarium is extremely rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Of course, fungal infection indicates bacterial infection. True fungus in aquarium is extremely rare.
Ah I see, this was confusing me! The neon seems fine tbh, at one point it seemed like it wasn't eating but since then it has been eating fine and exhibiting normal behavior. Still no significant decrease in the white growth though. Will keep updated.
 

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So I've noticed the white growth has indeed gotten a bit smaller. It is now looking like its turning pink/red but im not sure if this is just the growth dying off and revealing the neon's flesh underneath or even if its the growth continuing to eat away at the fish? I.e. not sure if its a good sign or bad sign. Anyone know? The neon himself is behaving normal.
 

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After turning pink/red the white growth quickly reappeared :/ It seems to be like a cycle. The white growth eventually kind of peels/flakes off revealing the pink/red (wound?) underneath before the white growth reappears. The neon is still alive and behaving normally. Any tips?
 

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Passing thought... I know Australia can be touchy about antibiotics but would it be possible to have a veterinarian write a prescription for the right antibiotics? Then get it from a pharmacy or livestock catalog.

I do know that if I needed something for the fish tank my vet would have no problem with it. Though I admit I've known the man for over 40 years so he knows if I ask I'm not playing games.

When columnaris reared it's ugly head here it was in a 75 gallon tank. Seachem's kanaplex was kind of cost prohibitive. I ordered some from china at a fraction of the cost. Took a bit to get here and while I doubt I'd chance the unknown chinese product on my mammal pets a tank full of guppies was worth a shot. It worked and I still have plenty tucked away.
 
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