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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had some unexplained deaths in my fish tank. The fish have appeared fine one day, then suddenly lethargic, and dead several days later. The latest casualty has been two harlequin rasboras that displayed mouth deformities. After listening to a podcast that featured Diana Walstad and reading her article on Mycobacterium, I think may tank may be suffering from it. She theorizes that it may be more prevalent in home aquariums than previously thought. I guess the only way to be sure if my fish deaths are attributed to mycobacterium is an autopsy.

So is Mycobacterium just part of the hobby? Or should I break down the tank and destroy everything and start over? Most of my fish and plants came from my LFS, what's to say they are not infected? What's to say any fish you buy from anywhere aren'y harboring it? What about getting plants from other members?

Diana seems to think you can control Mycobacterium with a powerful UV sterilizer.
I have been planning on upgrading my setup to a larger tank (it's a 20 gallon). I'm currently down to 10 small fish after the die off, so starting over fish wise wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I have plants I've had since I started the hobby. Just curious on everyone's take and if I should throw everything out or not, including tank and equipment.
 

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Yes it can be "part" of the hobby if you are unlucky, I have noticed that people who tend to breed fish seem to have more issues with it, I always QT all plants and fish before going into my tanks, I once had Ich hitchhike in on some plants so since then I am extra careful the good thing about it is in most cases the fish that have it do not last long and will die in QT but yes they can still slip through, here is an article about it, this is from a breeder that actually took time to research it and not just listen to rumors and so on about it, http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/articles/mycobacteriosis-the-stealth-disease213231.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I went ahead and treated with Kanaplex and Furan-2 for Columnaris, even though other than the mouth deformities there were no other outward signs of infection before death. Walstad theorizes that "MB is responsible for about half of fish deaths due to unknown causes." If Mycobacterium is something that can take months to years to manifest how do you properly QT and diagnose it?
 

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no its not just part of the hobby i have never had it in my tanks. i might have had columnaris but never fully looked like it and once i got rid of the one infected fish it went away none of the others got it. did end up with some weird thing that whipped out all the females in moms guppy tank when she got pet shop guppies and never figured out what it was.
 

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Mycobacterium is in all of our tanks in limited amounts if the tank is healthy, it's in soil and water, it is in all public water supplies as well as private, it is usually not a big deal as other bacteria out compete it and keep it's numbers low, but if conditions are right for it and not for other bacteria is when there is trouble, or if you are one of those clean freaks who over cleans your tank and doesn't read the article I posted lol
 
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