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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've noticed recently that two of my neons seem to have lost part of their mouths and I'm trying to diagnose the cause. I've seen similar threads suggesting mouth rot but it seems like that manifests more as growths than deterioration. I was hoping to get some opinions before I try any kind of treatment.

The tank:
20 gallons, heavily planted, has only been established for a little over two months now.
0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, close to 0 nitrate
5 neons, 5 cherry barbs- have been in the tank for 2 or 3 weeks
no heater- right now the water is around 70 degress
I dose excel daily but less than the recommended amount.

Until now the fish have seemed really happy- there is some aggression between the neons but it looked to me like spawning behavior. One fish with mouth damage is now spending most of it's time hiding out in the corner. It can still eat but seems to have some difficulty. The other seems to be behaving normally.

Hopefully the pictures show what's going on - any help diagnosing would be much appreciated. Thanks!

1029274


1029275


1029276
 

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I doubt the mouth erosion in more than one fish is from injury from sparring. The normal sparring between males may cause injury to one, allowing bacteria to take hold -- causing erosion. But, multiple fish with this condition usually indicates another cause.
I would treat with a gram negative antibiotic- like kanamycin ( active ingredient in Seachem Kanaplex).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion- I'm seeing mixed reviews for Kanaplex regarding safety for plants and invertebrates (I have a bunch of ramshorns and bladder snails that were hitchhikers but I'd like to keep them alive). Any experience with this in a planted tank? I don't have anything especially delicate- java moss, anubias, java fern, wisteria, hygrophila, banana plants, monte carlo.

Alternatively I could think about setting up a hospital tank with a sponge filter- if I were to do that would you recommend treating all fish in the tank or just the ones with symptoms?

Thanks again
 

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A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
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OH MY GOSH! This is actually something I've seen! I had this happen to one of the fish in my original guppy colony (R.I.P Aquaria Nationale V1), and I believe it's something called "columnaris" AKA "mouth rot". I'm almost positive. Sadly, no matter what medication you try, it's almost bound to die within the next week. Separate it from the other fish so it doesn't spread as easily. Add aquarium salt, if you want to try killing the columnaris pathogen in your water. But sadly, by the time you see the results, it's on the roller coaster to die :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to both of you- I have the fish quarantined and am attempting treatment with Kanaplex so we'll see how it goes. Since there's no growths, just loss of mouth parts it's a little tough to tell whether it's effective or not- I'm assuming fish lips don't grow back- but after two days they're still alive and I'm planning to give them another two day cycle with it starting this evening, so fingers crossed. Hoping that I caught it early enough to treat.
 

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Thanks to both of you- I have the fish quarantined and am attempting treatment with Kanaplex so we'll see how it goes. Since there's no growths, just loss of mouth parts it's a little tough to tell whether it's effective or not- I'm assuming fish lips don't grow back- but after two days they're still alive and I'm planning to give them another two day cycle with it starting this evening, so fingers crossed. Hoping that I caught it early enough to treat.
Good indication that will survive is that are still eating. When fish stop eating it is very difficult to get them to turn around in treatment becuase they loose necessary nutrients needed to fight infection and recover.
 
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