I've had an especially virulent strain of columnaris in my 55 gallon tank, and its now come back for the THIRD time. Its been over 2 months since any signs of it, and now, within the last 10 days I've lost 8 fish. Its just vicious, killing some overnight.
Nowhere to put my remaining 13 fish, as all I have is the 10 gallon quarantine tank, so guess I'll have to wait until there are only 5 left, then put them in the 10 gallon and break down the 55 gallon, treat it with bleach and sunshine, and start over.
My question is, will the fish I have left re-infect the tank? Will they be carriers, I guess is what I'm asking. I can't tell you the heartbreak I've been through losing so many of my little friends to this awful disease. A lot of them died without any prior symptoms, so I didn't even have time to treat them. I don't want to break down the tank, recycle it, put the fish back in, just to have the disease come back again.
The first outbreak I used Maracyn and Maracyn II. Lost about half my fish. Second outbreak I used Kanamycin (Kanaplex) and Furan 2. Same for third outbreak. But most of them ended up dying even after being treated. It was just too far gone by the time they showed symptoms. The refusal to eat and listlessness would be an immediate sign to me to treat them, but they always died within 24 hours of the first symptoms.
Should I just give up? I can't stand getting attached, only to lose them!