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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new 55 gallon - fishless cycled, plants/fish in residence for two weeks now. Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates all good, 76F. Water is very hard, but is quite similar to the water at the LFS.

Wildlife - 7 guppies, 5 platies, 7 cories, 1 gourami. Ramshorn and MTS snails.

The littlest guppy was always kind of sad. His fins got rather torn up, he started having swim balance issues, and had the "saddleback" that is leading me to think columnaris. Friday he was quite bad, so my plan was to bring him home for some R&R in a small tank. I have a bully guppy, so I suspect he was just getting picked on. He was dead by 1pm that day.

Today I go back to the office thinking to instead bring home the bully and let him live in isolation in my Evolve 8. Two more dead guppies. I am thinking that one was having the swim balance issues, honestly cannot recall if they had the saddleback. While removing the dead fish I saw another guppy swimming at an angle and noticed the saddleback. That's when I figured out I was dealing with some contagious disease and I just went ahead and euthanized him. So now I have three asymptomatic guppies plus all the rest. Everyone else is very healthy, happy - I see zero discoloration, evidence of mouth fuzz - any outward signs of any fish disease. I have a lot of plants that are just settling in, plus the snails to think of as well.

Would you treat the tank? I will have to order meds in (I live in the middle of nowhere), so I'm afraid I need to make this decision before anyone else gets symptomatic.

From what I've read - columnaris is present in the water column at all times, so could the healthy fish escape infection? It seems like guppies are more susceptible than some due to possible genetic issues.

Hopefully I can draw on your experience, how would you proceed?
 

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http://www.myaquariumclub.com/columnaris-and-what-i-have-learned...-1689.html

This is the article I used. Make sure to completely sterilize ANYTHING that comes into contact with the Columnaris tank. You'll need Kanaplex and Furan 2. I could not save my fish and lost 30 in 2 weeks to carelessness. I wish you luck, that is false that is it present in all tanks. This is a very fast, do not mess with kinda disease. It will wipe out your tanks and you'll have to throw out your substrate, filter media, and BLEACH EVERYTHING. I had to bleach everything and sun bake it for a month to make sure it was gone.
 

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+1 with Oceangirl. Kanaplex and furan 2 or Bifuran is the best way. I figured out what I needed to late and lost a good deal of fish to columnaris. As for if columnaris is in the water at all times I really doubt that. I've heard the same thing about ich. Think about it. You fill up a fish tank and put your water conditioner and whatever in and let it cycle through. At this point, where would columnaris or ich or anything else for that matter come from unless it was introduced from an outside source. I really doubt it would come through your tap. This is always why you want a quarantine tank.
 

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+2 for the nitrofuran and kanamycin. You should also give your surviving fish a salt bath in a quarantine container/tank. The main tank should be treated with an oxidizer such as hydrogen peroxide or potassium permanganate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, meds are on order. I'm not going to salt bath the cories, think it might be a good plan with the others.

At the moment, no more deaths, all asymptomatic, so fingers crossed I caught it early and can get it treated.

I'm not going to disassemble the tank at this point - honestly I would rather lose to the stock, maintain the plants in situ for 1-2 months after a course of antibiotics and start over.

Not sure this stuff couldn't be in the tap - I know it infects wild fish in the local area (my searching took me to some interesting resources for wildlife/husbandry). I've also seen many anecdotal cases in my Google searches of it cropping up in established tanks with very limited possibilities for outside contamination.

Ordinarily (and in the future) I will QT, but this was the start-up crew. I also refuse to buy guppies ever again - but that's just because I'm slightly superstitious and I was talked into them. Platies all the way next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, everyone was spotted alive and well today. One guppy looked like he was hanging out at the top more than usual, so I've plunked the remaining three into a hospital bucket with the thought of giving them a healthy dose of salt. The office is a very stable 72 degrees, so that seems perfect. They have 3 gallons of water, some floating plants and an air stone.

My intention is to put about 2 teaspoons of salt in over the next two days. Then I'll get them medicated as well. Thanks to everyone for the guidance, I feel pretty good about where I'm headed!
 

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I'm with Monster Fish as in cleaning the tank after. I personally like Hydrogen Peroxide over the Potassium Permangranate as it is one less chemical you put in the water and it works quite well for that as well as a number of other aquarium issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm with Monster Fish as in cleaning the tank after. I personally like Hydrogen Peroxide over the Potassium Permangranate as it is one less chemical you put in the water and it works quite well for that as well as a number of other aquarium issues
Ok, maybe this is something different than what I'm thinking, how exactly would this work?

I could probably find a place for the livestock for a few days, but I really don't want to strip out the plants - and my inclination is that dosing the whole tank with H202 at a high enough level to be effective would kill them? Oceangirl's link had some details about spot treating, which made sense to me, but I don't seem to have the visible colonies that he describes right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So many of these threads don't have a conclusion, so I thought I'd post mine.

I never lost another fish, and I'm still symptom free - so I'm speculating that I over-reacted and I just had four unhealthy guppies with some other disease or just a general not handling the transition well. My advice? Take good pictures of your sick fish, so the smart people on these forums can help you identify the disease. :)

Since a couple weeks ago I had to rehome a pair of mollies from a friend's tank that failed, they stayed temporarily in my Evolve 8 and are now in the big tank. The three guppies have been taken back off the salt and placed in my Evolve 8.

I'm going to give it another month before I declare any sort of victory - or try to add any additional fish. I'm torn between wanting more cories (because I love them, so much) and potentially either swapping out for a larger gourami, or possibly a clown (or I'd love a zebra, but those are spendy) pleco.
 
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