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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! So here's the story: A few months ago one of my black widow tetras showed some puffy white growth above its eyes. I treated this with melafix which showed no improvement as the growth actually grew. I then tried pimafix (all this in my main tank) and this worked! I was stoked to have solved the problem until all of my anubias' started dissolving basically! :eek: After talking with my main guy at the LFS, he linked the anubias problem to trhe pimafix and gave me some carbon for my eheim. My anubias' have survived and actually started new growth now! Needless to say this was the last time I would be using pimafix in my main tank!

Unfortunately, the white growth returned on the same fish about a month ago. Now these tetras are 2+ years old...Despite the age factor I built a quick 10g quarantine tank and treated the tetra with both pima + melafix for a week and the growth disappeared. Today though, I spotted the fish in my main tank again only to see the growth has returned so I built the quaratine again and am going to be treating the fish again in the Q-tank for longer this time. My question is, what's the deal? What can I do as a preventative measure against this nasty white fungus?

Thanks for any help guys! ;)
EB
 

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First off you would have to figure out what it is so you can treat it properly. Puffy white growth above the eyes could be a few things. Columnaris for one which can be particularly nasty if not treated soon enough. I've had this problem and if thats the case get Kanaplex (Kanamycin) and Nitrofuran or Bifuran II and use together and this will treat it. I used it in a planted tank and my plants didn't really show any signs of distress. They didn't really grow that well til the treatment was over but really endured it better than I thought they would. Is the fish eating and acting normal?
 

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Melafix and Pimafix don't have very strong antifungal or antibiotic properties and are best used only for minor issues (they're more like the equivalent of putting Neosporin on a small cut).

I'd make sure to quarantine this fish and try an actual antibiotic such as the ones iamtechno just listed. There's also a good medications chart on DrsF&S website: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=1338
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It might be columnaris, but I'm leaning towards nay...I wish I could get a pic, but I have no camera! Argh! That might change to day though, and then we'll get this thing figured out. bookmarked the meds list, I didn't know there were so many! TY lauraleellbp.

EB
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did an ammonia check and it read 3.5 ppms. Needless to say I did an immediate water change. I have hundreds if ramshorn could they be responsible for this? Quite a few fish have 'disappeared' this year...I figured they passed and were eaten by the ramshorn. I posted about the problem a few months ago. Could that be responsible for the ammonia and fungus problem? Thanks
EB
 

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Well 3.5 ppms is fairly high especially for some fish. You really want to keep that at 0 or as close to it as possible. I wouldn't think the ramshorns would really have anything to do with it but I don't know to much about them although I do have them in every tank I own never had any problems. A pic and a little more info might help. Columnaris can present itself in a number of different ways too. What all do you have in your tank?
 

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Ammonia in the tank suggests there is a major problem, perhaps a couple of related problems.

1) Nitrifying bacteria are supposed to remove the ammonia so you never see it. Tests should show 0 ppm. Anything over this can be a problem for the fish. Plants are also supposed to help. The easiest way for plants to take in nitrogen is in the form of ammonia.
Problem number 1: There is something wrong in the tank when the nitrifying bacteria and plants cannot control the ammonia. Perhaps the conditions are wrong for either or both, and they are not living up to their potential.
Solution: Research the optimum conditions for bacteria and plants, and see if your tank meets their needs. Correct whatever issues you can so conditions are improved, and plants and bacteria can do their jobs.

2) there is a limited amount of space in the tank and filter to house bacteria and plants. If more ammonia is added, even if conditions are optimum, the bacteria and plants cannot handle it all.
Problem number 2: Too much ammonia is being added to the tank.
Solution: Stop adding nitrogen in any form (fish food and fertilizer are the biggest problems). Clean the filter and vacuum the floor of the tank to remove fallen, decomposing matter (used and unused fish food, dead leaves)

The goal is to balance the nitrogen addition with nitrogen removal.

Stop feeding.

The snails are the ones showing the effects of the food. The fish food is getting turned into ammonia and snails.

If you fed only 1/4 the normal amount once a day that would help lower the ammonia level. Skip a day of feeding.
The fish would get the food because they would be hungry enough to go for it when you feed, and would still be hungry enough to forage through the plants and other things to find the fallen food and to eat other things like baby snails. Snails would lose out in the race for food and reduce their breeding.

Nitrifying bacteria thrive in hard, alkaline water. You do not want to make the water alkaline while ammonia is present, but I would test the KH, GH, pH and TDS. Bring the GH and KH up to about 3 German degrees of hardness to make sure the bacteria have the minerals they need. Add some plant fertilizers including KH2PO4 and trace minerals. Nothing with nitrogen, though. This also will make sure the bacteria and plants have the nutrients they need to better reduce the nitrogen levels. Add some form of carbon for the plants. Make sure there is very good water flow through the filter for the bacteria to get high levels of oxygen.
Once conditions are improved for the bacteria you can add some nitrifying bacteria that will boost the population. Read the labels and make sure you get a product that includes Nitrospira species of bacteria.

I would increase the frequency and volume of water changes until the problem is under control.
Do a couple of back-to-back 50% water changes to get that ammonia a LOT lower right away, then continue with 50% water changes daily as long as any ammonia shows on the tests. Use a dechlorinator like Prime that also locks up the ammonia, and use it at the right dose for the level of ammonia in the tank. Read the label, the dechlor you use should say how much to use to lock up how much ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I've recently started adding fertilizers again after a few months off to slow growth so I'll cut that back. I am aware that it is a high bio load and have slowly raised it to its current level and from what I understand, it's high but not too high. I will also cut back food to help the ammonia. The circulation is really good, creating water movement all the way around the top of the tank with an eheim 2215.

Regardless of these issues, my main, Unsolved problem, the fungus growth...I tired to get a pic all day today (finally have a good camera, yeay!!) but the fish in question has been hiding all day and night, as it's not feeling well. I am 95% sure that it is generic fungus as diagnosed from web research, although this may be columnaris more specifically. A visit to the lfs tomorrow will hopefully help. Thank you for the help though.
EB
 

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Yeah most likely. Columnaris presents itself differently and sometimes fish can live for a little while with columnaris as unfortunately I've experienced this but most likely would have been dead. Probably just a fungal growth. A picture could help.
 
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