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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the oddest thing. The mouth gets "stuck" open and eventually the fish dies because it cannot eat (of course :rolleyes:). I don't see anything else wrong with it. I'm losing quite a few to this but it's only affecting the cardinals. I have another one that just started the same thing. The cardinals are probably approaching their life span? I've had them 3-4 years. Started with 25 and they thrived until last year and am down to about 10. My neighbor is a photographer and graciously came to try and "capture" the image because I could not. Thanks Jim!

tank info:
Other tank makes: rasaboras, ember tetras, corys, ammano shrimp, dwarf rainbows
75 gal, heavily planted, co2 injected
0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10 ppm nitrates 6.8 ph
40% water change every week

Any ideas?

Fish Marine biology Fin Electric blue Underwater
Iris Marine biology Terrestrial plant Reptile Underwater
Head Bird Plant Eye Beak
 

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I lost two neons in 2019 with very similar symptoms. My attempts to treat them in a quarantine tank (Kanamycin, sulfathiazole) were unsuccessful. None of the 12 other neons in the tank ever developed the characteristic open-mouth condition or suffered any associated issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I lost two neons in 2019 with very similar symptoms. My attempts to treat them in a quarantine tank (Kanamycin, sulfathiazole) were unsuccessful. None of the 12 other neons in the tank ever developed the characteristic open-mouth condition or suffered any associated issues.
And I don't see anything else at all. I was expecting to see maybe something close up that I can't with my eyes, like gill flukes or a parasite of some sort. I have no idea how to treat it...at least you tried something. I lost this guy last night.
 

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And I don't see anything else at all. I was expecting to see maybe something close up that I can't with my eyes, like gill flukes or a parasite of some sort. I have no idea how to treat it...at least you tried something. I lost this guy last night.
Sorry to hear that. In my case there were what I assumed to be secondary infections (white tissue around the mouth) and some visible erosion of the lower mandible/jaw. I guessed the pathogen was bacterial or a combination of bacterial/fungal stuff. I don't like treating blind, but I didn't find enough information to be more targeted.

Small fish are hard because they are more likely to succumb before you can identify the problem and appropriate course of treatment. I feel lucky the issue didn't spread to the remaining fish in the tank. There were serpae and black skirt tetras in the same tank and none of them showed any distress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry to hear that. In my case there were what I assumed to be secondary infections (white tissue around the mouth) and some visible erosion of the lower mandible/jaw. I guessed the pathogen was bacterial or a combination of bacterial/fungal stuff. I don't like treating blind, but I didn't find enough information to be more targeted.

Small fish are hard because they are more likely to succumb before you can identify the problem and appropriate course of treatment. I feel lucky the issue didn't spread to the remaining fish in the tank. There were serpae and black skirt tetras in the same tank and none of them showed any distress.
I shot this myself so not as big and clear. This is the other one. You can see it seems to start at the bottom part of the jaw and accelerates. Just crazy.

Nature Organism Fin Water Fish
 

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Fish disease id. Open mouth/gills

If you have the option of quarantining the sick fish, that should be your first priority.

The erosion/white flesh I observed on my neons was confined to late stages of the infection when the fish were already wasting and in poor condition. There were never any visible thread-like growths around the mouth as I would expect for cotton-mouth or other common fungal infections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fish disease id. Open mouth/gills

If you have the option of quarantining the sick fish, that should be your first priority.

The erosion/white flesh I observed on my neons was confined to late stages of the infection when the fish were already wasting and in poor condition. There were never any visible thread-like growths around the mouth as I would expect for cotton-mouth or other common fungal infections.
Thanks for that link. I'd read it before but it wasn't much help to me. I didn't quarantine the fish because I noticed one dwarf neon rainbow with white poop that doesn't want to "drop". So I'm thinking parasites and its showing up in the cardinals in a different manner. I'm treating the whole tank with medicated food (metronidazole) and keeping on top of my water changes. I think that will help because they are still eating. If the cardinals don't respond, I'll move them and treat the water instead.
 
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