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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened overnight to my male ram, frankly, I didn't notice it prior to my 40% water change this morning - I only have Petsmart and a Mom & Pop store to shop at, will one of the common fungus meds sold there work? I don't have another tank I can put him in - if this is columnaris, will all my fish get sick? (I just put 15 new rainbows in here! Yikes!)
 

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Hard to tell what it is. I'd remove him and watch him and see how it progresses. Maybe try a bit of salt in the mean time. Did you quarantine the new fish before adding them to the tank?
 

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If it's columnaris, you'll have to treat the whole tank. I'm dealing with it now.

Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have another tank to move him to. I didn't quarantine the fish (because I have no other tank) but I noticed he had this as soon as I added the rainbows - it was because he was hiding and I was looking for him that I noticed it. He was fine before I did a water change this morning, I'm 99% sure. (I know for a fact he was fine at bedtime last night - I sit & watch the fish every night before bed and pay special attention to the rams because they are so cool).
I did treat the tank with aquarium salt because I read it can possibly help if it's a fungus. I didn't know if I should up the temps, or if that would actually benefit fungus, so I didn't. I will also say both rams have acted very strange since the water change this time. Hiding, acting very stressed, not feeding. I did change more than I usually do because I recently did 3 days of dog dewormer treatments for planaria just this week. So instead of my normal 20%, I did closer to 45%. Maybe the water temps were way off? I use API's water conditioner when I do changes.
Julia, how are you treating the columnaris? Is it curable? I never experienced anything other than ick in my entire life, now I realize the importance of having a well stocked aquarium medicine cabinet on hand. If I have to order meds online, it'll be too late.
I have the lights off now to help ease the stress of adding new fish - I hope I'll see an improvement tomorrow, I'll be crushed if it turns out to be columnaris.
 

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Children Boogie
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treat the whole tank with heavy anti-biotics. It's highly infectious.

If your fish dies within 72 hours, it's definitely columnaris.
 

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Columnaris is bacterial and usually treated with antibiotics. Don't raise the temp right now - if it's bacterial it could just get worse.

You really need to get another tank to set up for quarantine. Adding new fish without quarantining them is begging for trouble.

I'm also wondering if this could be a reaction to the worm meds you were using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What kind of antibiotics? I have a sinking feeling I won't be finding them at Petsmart...
The dewormer was safe-guard (fenbendazole) and I used 1/2 gram on day 1, 1/2g on day 2, and a full gram on day 3. Perhaps that stressed out the rams, too. Combined with the big water change today - one day after completeing the deworming.
So far the black tetras and the cardinals appear to be fine - as best as I can see.
I will be sure to get a 10g hospital tank as soon as I get paid on Wednesday! Hopefully it won't be too late for these fish...it will be a month or so before I am in a position to buy more fish - I'll get a 20g set up as a quarantine tank first...how long do you leave fish in quarantine before adding them to the permanent tank?
 

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A good dose of copper safe and maroxy will fix that in about 10 days time. Remember, with every disease there is often a secondary one that you will most likely need to deal with as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't know what to get (choices were limited) so I bought maracyn & maracyn2. I dosed the first time today - sadly, the ram died. What is odd is that after adding the aquarium salt last night, all the fungus-looking white bits on him were gone in the morning, but he was hiding, listless, and having trouble staying upright. Right up until he died, his color was peak, his gills weren't inflamed looking, but he stayed on his side at the bottom until he died. I have 3 cardinals with cottony white tails - one was shimmying and having great difficulty swimming - I was going to euthanized that one. Right at this moment I can't find it - it left the spot it was "hiding" in. It may be dead, or back in the school. I have to leave for a few hours so I won't be able to look until I get back.
I do recall a few weeks ago having a strange translucent covering crop up on my glass - at the time I thought is was an aglea bloom or tiny hydras - they were miniscule little wavy fronds - but mostly they looked like tiny hyrda or anemoneas (sp?). I've since read one article somewhere that states columnaris starts with a similar looking occurance. Anyone here experience that?
Wish my luck - I feel this is only the beginning...I'm especially worried about the new celebes rainbows I just put in the tank...*sigh*
 

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Children Boogie
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Fungus in most cases is a secondary symption/infection due to something else like columnaris. It sounds like you have columnaris since it died pretty soon after you spotted it. Maracyn & m2 might work as a combo. Some use another called Tri-sulfa but you can only get it online.

Try hydrogen peroxide after you're done with the antibiotics too. Go for 1-2ml for every gallon. I use H2O2 to clear up questionable external disease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I can put the hydrogen peroxide directly into the tank?
Thanks for the help!
I lost one of the cardinals before I went out this morning, it did a fast downward spiral while I was watching the tank prior to leaving, and it was obvious it wasn't going to make it. I euthanized it before I left, worried that I wouldn't be able to find it later. I'm going to go take stock of the tank now...
 

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maracyn 2 is OK for coumnaris not great though, maracyn is not good for much. The best cure for culumnaris is furan-2/bifuran combined with kanamycin. Kanamycin is a very effective antibiotic when compared to maracyn-2 but it can cause issues if overused, follow the directions. You need a hospital tank even if you don't keep it setup all the time. Get a 10 gallon setup from walmart for $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately, Petsmart and my lfs didn't sell any of the other meds mentioned. I'll have to order online and build up a medicine chest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, this is a rotten learning curve. Maybe I didn't get the best medicine, but I hope it helps. I'll have to stock up meds from online...
 

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maracyn 2 is OK for coumnaris not great though, maracyn is not good for much. The best cure for culumnaris is furan-2/bifuran combined with kanamycin. Kanamycin is a very effective antibiotic when compared to maracyn-2 but it can cause issues if overused, follow the directions. You need a hospital tank even if you don't keep it setup all the time. Get a 10 gallon setup from walmart for $50.
Driftwoodhunter:
What lipadj says concurs with my research. Columnaris, I found, is a gram-negative bacterial infection. Maracyn treats gram-positive infections, so it's not much use, although it may prevent secondary infections. Maracyn 2 is for gram-negative infections, and I believe the triple sulfa is as well. So are the medications lipad mentioned. Unfortunately, PetSmart didn't carry either of those so I went with what I could find, which seems to be working.

I am using Maracyn 2 in conjunction Jungle Fungus Clear tablets, plus salt and Pimafix, and I have turned off my heater because lower temps slow the growth of bacteria. I have read that Pimafix is of some aid with this disease, while Melafix is ineffective. The treatment appears to be working - one of my cories that was so ill he couldn't swim on Sunday is now scuttlling around with the others.

I am treating them in a bare 10 hospital tank. I have taken down the infected tank and will be disinfecting and reestablishing it this weekend. I have also disinfected all my equipment with bleach solution, and will be very careful to do the same with the hospital tank and with anything that comes in contact with it. The real downer is that I will have to recycle the tank. It was low-tech and did not contain any really special plants, but when I dipped the plants in beach solution to disinfect before putting them in my other tank, it killed them. I should have used pottassium permanganate, but I didn't have any.

So, on my shopping list next time I order online: Kanmycin, Furan 2 and potassium permanganate.

Imprinted indelibly on my brain: QUARANTINE NEW FISH!!!!!

Live and learn, eh?

Julia
 

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I got stung bad by not QTing and lost some 25 fish before I got things under control plus having to restart my biofilter. The maracyn 2 will take care of columnaris most of the time just make sure to do the entire treatment. Live and learn indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
yes, an expensive lesson, but that's the kind that stick with me the best ; )
 

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There are so many other choices for treating minor bacterial infections that antibiotics should never be used except in severe cases. Antibiotics reek havoc on your tank and the good bacteria... you just shouldn't go there. Had you used the Maroxy and the Coppersafe your ram would have lived. How do I know? I helped a friend with the same rams and same problem a month ago and his rams lived.

Copper - Kills fungus and parasites in the gills
Maroxy - Kills minor bacterial AND fungal infections without screwing up the bio filter.

Antibiotics are like using a nuclear weapon to stop a home invasion... They screw up the water parameters and stress the fish even more.
 
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