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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened overnight, one of my otos this morning pretty much had his tail ripped right off. Its dangling there but not much is holding on. If you guys remember I had posting a few weeks ago about another one of my otos I found with a chunk of flesh missing from the side of his face. At that time I never thought it could of been caused by a fish and blamed myself for putting in a sharp piece of rock in the tank.

Well there is nothing sharp in the tank now ecept for fish teeth :( I have 4 pearls and I suspect one of them is the culprit but don't know forsure as during normal hours as I watch my fish I never seen aggression from them at all.

Since this is the second incident with no explanation and I can't remove the fish causing it because I don't know who it is I have decided to rehome / sell my otos as I don't want this to continue.

I have the poor oto in the fry mesh box things, he is breathing faster than normal and the area looks bad. I don't think he will make it as the other oto with the flesh wood died in less than 24 hours.

here is a pic.




I love my otos and I am reluctant to get rid of them, even more so because of how great they have been doing in my tank besides the elusive attacker :(

If not the pearls then what else could of cause this kind of damage in my tank? I have no rocks, nothing has fallen, water is pristine, i have no idea. it must of been them right?!
 

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Children Boogie
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It's not an attacker per se. It's a flesh eating bacteria. If they die off that fast it's likely columnaris.

Quarantine and treat with the strongest antibiotics (gram negative and gram positive). Or maybe better to treat the whole tank or clean out the whole tank if this persists.
 

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It looks like to me that one of your fish tried to eat your oto while it was asleep... I've seen this type of lesion on plenty of fish caused by my angelfish. They like to attack fish from behind and suck in their tail when it's too big to swallow whole.
 

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"Columnaris can be external or internal and may follow a chronic or acute course. Lesions in chronic cases progress slowly, taking many days before culminating in fish death. In acute cases the lesions spread quickly, often wiping out entire populations of fish within hours."
 

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Its columnaris just like everyone else said nothing more nothing less. Add some salt and prey that it lifts of the skin then dose with anti fungal meds not sure if it will work for you but i saved 5 of my mollys with this method.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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What temperature is your tank? What else is in this tank?

I'm on the fence now whether or not this may be columnaris or predation.

The fact that only your Otos are showing symptoms make me think predation. Gourami are definitely capable of causing that kind of damage.

But that photo absolutely could be columnaris (if it is, don't bother with salt, you need to use a heavy-duty broad-spectrum antibiotic. Triple Sulfa is what I have used successfully in the past for columnaris.)

Either way- that Oto needs to be treated with an antibiotic, and you need to keep a very close eye on the rest of your fish for any other areas of faded coloration or bloody looking areas, as those are common symptoms of columnaris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have 4 peals 5 otos 25 cardinals 1 golden ram a ton to f snails and a few shrimp.

No other fish show any symptoms of any illness. My water is pristine, temp is 80.

The otos was dead this morning. Just like the other one weeks ago when it was attacked it died the following day.

These little fish can't take that kind of abuse.

I read the symptoms for the disease you all are suggesting, and my fish show none of it. Also with this disease my whole popular would of been dead by now if it was in fact this. Since my first otos died weeks ago and everything was fine after that. Acute cases don't just target one fish, at least from all other posts I read. If I am wrong then you can say I told you so once all my fish die.

But when another month goes by and I haven't had a death I will be sure to let you all know how wrong you were to suggest such a disease without knowing any history of my tank or any additional info regarding the rest of the population.
 

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I might look for damage to tail's on Pearl gourami and or other fishes.
Male Gourami can be aggressive with other Gourami and or other fishes.
If no other fishes are being nipped at, then I might not suspect the Gourami at all but rather a bacterial pathogen that may have been present within the Oto's when purchased especially if purchased at same time from same place.
I too think if this was columnaris,,then in the week's since the first oto died,other fishes would be showing some symptom's for columnaris does not normally affect just one species in closed system.
If there is tail damage to any other fishes ,but none on one or two of the gourami,then the one or two with no damge could indeed be the ones causing the damage/loss.
 

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But when another month goes by and I haven't had a death I will be sure to let you all know how wrong you were to suggest such a disease without knowing any history of my tank or any additional info regarding the rest of the population.
People are trying to help you, you don't need to be a [LANGUAGE] to them. Also, they know a lot about your tank and your population because you post every day. I've been following your tank since day 1 because I love the scape and flora/fauna choices. I think your tank is spectacular and I sincerely hope you don't have an infection.

That said...

I suspect a bacterial infection too, here's why:

I had something similar happen to a group of panda corys that I bought from a shady LFS that were housed without other tankmates to bully them.
Overnight one would develop symptoms of fin rot: torn, frayed fins and tails, red ulcers at the bases. It would die the next day. It seemed to hit 1 or 2 individuals at a time, others looked healthy. I did some reading and suspected an infection and treated with antibiotics, and the currently sick individual rapidly got better (this was the first to survive after developing symptoms). Then there were no problems for a few months. Then it would reoccur, and antibiotics fixed it. After about 4 cycles like this, the antibiotics seemed to stop working (I added them, but the fish did not improve). One by one they died over the next 3 weeks.

I have 2 theories about what happened:
1) Fish were sick when I bought them. I don't use that LFS anymore and have never seen the problem again.

2) My water was never good enough for pandas (which I've read are less hardy than other cory species). Nitrates were close to zero, but the water from the tap here is very hard and very high pH and who knows what else is in it. Stress from bad water could have made them susceptible to recurrent bacterial infection, and failure to eradicate the bacteria completely may have selected for antibiotic resistance.
I hear otos are pretty sensitive too, and the possibility exists that they are getting sick when the other species in the tank are not.
 

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I am going to jump in on a few things.

1.) You have to assume the worst case scenario. Which is columnaris.

2.) You always had columnaris and you always will have it. It, most likely, came in on your hands/shirts/pants from outside.

3.) 99% of all outbreaks happen when the water conditions are not good enough or you have a very weak/stressed fish. Once it goes into the symptom stage, it usually spreads and stresses out other fish, causing more deaths.

4.) If the water is a good as you say it is and there is zero stress on the other fish, then the outbreak will only happen this one time and not again.

5.) But in the real world, some time in the next few hours to weeks, you will lose most of your fish if you do not do something right now.

6.) You fish could have been attacked by another fish. That fish could have gotten a bacteria and fungus infection that show symptoms only in that fish. But that is the best case scenario. You can not expect the best case and be prepared for the worst case.


I would reduce the temperature, add salt, and get the fish into a treatment tank for proper anti bacterial meds.
 

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I am going to jump in on a few things.

1.) You have to assume the worst case scenario. Which is columnaris.

2.) You always had columnaris and you always will have it. It, most likely, came in on your hands/shirts/pants from outside.

3.) 99% of all outbreaks happen when the water conditions are not good enough or you have a very weak/stressed fish. Once it goes into the symptom stage, it usually spreads and stresses out other fish, causing more deaths.

4.) If the water is a good as you say it is and there is zero stress on the other fish, then the outbreak will only happen this one time and not again.

5.) But in the real world, some time in the next few hours to weeks, you will lose most of your fish if you do not do something right now.

6.) You fish could have been attacked by another fish. That fish could have gotten a bacteria and fungus infection that show symptoms only in that fish. But that is the best case scenario. You can not expect the best case and be prepared for the worst case.


I would reduce the temperature, add salt, and get the fish into a treatment tank for proper anti bacterial meds.
Columnaris can be introduced by contaminated net's,or other equipment
used in tank's where the bacterial pathogen already exists.
Please point to any info that this pathogen enters your tank,my tank from clothing such as shirt's,pant's.(is new's to me).
The pathogen does not discriminate from species to species but will affect all fish in closed system.
 

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Columnaris can be introduced by contaminated net's,or other equipment
used in tank's where the bacterial pathogen already exists.
Please point to any info that this pathogen enters your tank,my tank from clothing such as shirt's,pant's.(is new's to me).
The pathogen does not discriminate from species to species but will affect all fish in closed system.
Just a quick google search.

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Flavobacterium

"Flavobacteria are generally commensal bacteria that live in soil and water and are opportunistic pathogens. The can be found in water and soil in many areas around the world."

If you buy your fish from any store on the planet, you have this in your aquarium. Fish that are treated with anti bacterials will not stop this from spreading. Sorry. Do a search, there is a ton of information on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I am pretty sure the oto was attacked and its not a disease for the reasons I have stated. I watch my fish for a minimum 30 min a day and I see how they look and act. All fish eat normal poop normal are super active and colors that no picture can do justice.

I will keep a close eye on my tank as always and keep things super clean as normal. I will let you all know what happens.

I am selling the rest of my otos this weekend to avoid any future attack on them. I also plan to add a school of corydoras to replace my otos.

I have done a ton of reading on this disease that some of you are so sure it is. I also have read the symptoms and how obvious they would be if it was external. I really don't see anything wrong with any of my other fish.
 
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