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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question: Would you euthanize a seemingly healthy fish if it came from a badly diseased tank?

Context: For the past 3 months I've been battling a very stubborn strain of Columnaris in one of my tanks and failed miserably all three times. I have lost 15 guppies/endlers, a betta, 2 tetras and 6 boraras brigittae so far. These fish were not all in this tank at the same time btw. They were added at different times when I thought it was under control. The disease would come and go and just when I thought it was over it would rear it's ugly head again. I've tried several meds and changed water like a mad person. I am giving up and have decided to just tear the tank down, bleach it and tuck it away never to look at it again and focus on my other smaller tanks.

The Dilemma: is there are still a few inhabitants in the tank, 6 brigittae and 4 amano shrimp that look seemingly healthy to the eye. I don't know if I can bring myself to euthanize these remaining animals if they look/are healthy. The endlers that died had very obvious columnaris symptoms, but the rasboras that died just disappeared. Not sure if they died from the same thing actually. I'll be throwing away a lot of healthy looking plants as well. :(

I could save the remainder and move them to my other tanks, but I'm worried they are "contaminated" or carriers of the nasty disease. Not sure if the amano shrimp can be carriers of fish diseases? One particular rasbora I am really attached to as well. He's my dominate male and the most beautiful tiny thing I have raised. I really want to save him and add him to my other shoal in another tank, but I just don't know what the risks are. I can barely look at this tank anymore. It's just a death tank.

What would you do? Start over completely and don't risk it by moving the fish around? Wait this tank out? Pretty sure the disease isn't going away in this tank without drastic overhaul. I don't want this disease tank anymore.

Sorry for the long post :(. Need some advice. Thanks.
 

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I don't know, but what I would do is put them in a quarantine tank for a long time and observe them to see if they show any symptoms. If they do, euthanize them. If they don't, leave them there a little longer and see if they show any symptoms. If you are 100000000% sure that you don't see any sign of columnaris, you can put them into the tank. But you would have to quarantine them for a very long time in order to confirm that the survivors don't carry any germs that can spread the disease to the fishes of the other tank.

This is just what I would do. I'm not sure if this would work, but if you really love your remaining fish, you should try this method. :)
 

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There are several strains of columnaris, and some can be almost impossible to get rid of, as you are finding.

I would euthanize the fish, not take the risk of spreading it to other tanks.
Throw away the plants, sterilize (chlorine bleach) everything that can tolerate bleach. Probably throw away the substrate. If the substrate was gravel or sand it could be bleached, but gravel and sand are so cheap why bother? Soil or any porous substrate is not so easy to deal with. You could bake it, but it smells terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I'm torn between putting them in a bare bottom quarantine and wait it out, but for how long? I don't know how long this disease can remain on the fish or even shrimp. I read the spores can stay on healthy fish for weeks! Don't know if I will ever have peace of mind mixing these guys with my other fish.

Its a fluval stratum substrate and ada. I'll probably throw it away, but what about driftwood? Can I boil it and it will kill anything on it?
 
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