white fungus growth on fish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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white fungus growth on fish

One of my columbian tetra just sprung a white fungus on the top fin. It started as a small spot and the fish was staying put in one spot with heavy breathing.
It didn't take long, maybe 3-4 hours and I noticed the spot growing.

I put him in my hospital tank to isolate him. I read that fungus like this is common and most fish can live through it np but this morning he was upside down and it don't look so good for him.

Any thoughts on what this could be?

The fungus now covers 25% of his top fin area and back.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 12:11 PM
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Fungus is not common in fish. When water quality deteriorates, fish become stressed. This in turn weakens it's natural immune system which allows it to fight off many infections, parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens. The fish then become sick and may or may not die . People then want to know what medications can they use to make the fish well and they want immediate results. If you provide a clean enviornment for your fish medications are seldom needed. Without knowing a whole lot more about your particular tank and maint. routine it would be near impossible to speculate as to what may have caused the fungus. If you have a test kit ,Test the water for ammonia,nitrites, and nitrates. If you don't have a test kit perhaps the local fish store will test your water if you bring them a sample. Once you have those results then you could post them here and folks could offer more help.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 12-01-2008 at 12:19 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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The only test kit I have currently tests amonia levels and they are very low under 1ppm and more like 0-.5ppm at any given time.
The temp of my tank is 78.
I 25% water change every two weeks.

I did add a Blue Gourami to the tank ill advised. He is very territorial as I have found out... Do you think it possible the stress from the Gourami may have led to the lower immune system which led to the fungal?

I don't have any treatments in my tank that prevent fungal or bad bacteria atm. I am going to start using salt, which I understand is 1 tablespoon per gallon. (I read this is a huge protection for Ick)

To be clear, I don't use your forum for quick fixes or "immediate" results. I am here to learn.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-01-2008, 06:53 PM
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Your case is most certainly columnaris. Do you have access to Maracyn?

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-02-2008, 05:04 AM
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Though I would not be so bold as to make a diagnosis without even a photo, I would recommend weekly water changes rather than every two weeks. Any medication you use , please follow the directions to the letter MORE is not better. It should also be noted that carbon should be removed from the filter during medication treatment for it will remove the medication thus making it less effective. I did not mean to infer that you were seeking a quick fix and apologize if you took it that way. There are however many people who come to forums such as this and provide little information on their tanks and water quality or lack thereof and expect others to make a proper diagnosis as to what particular ailment is affecting their fish and also what medications can they use to cure said fish. I am not a fan of medicating fish and have little knowledge on the slew of medications out there for I have not needed them. IMHO 80 to90 percent of all fish Illneses are directly related to water quality. If you are using a strip style test kit then I would recommend Purchasing the API freshwater master kit for testing the water they are far more accurate and could alert you to problems with the water before your fish exhibit symptoms that may or may not affect it's health. I will say that I believe their are medications out there that can be helpful but maintaining good water quality could negate the need for most of them and allow you to spend the money saved on medications on MORE FISH!

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-02-2008, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Lupin for the help. I read about columnaris and it does sound like it could be exactly what this fish contracted.
I did put him in my hospital tank but he did not make it. It was too fast acting for me to defeat.
The rest of my tank seems to be fine for now.

I have added salt to the tank, I know there are mixed reviews on it but more seem to think it helps than not.

I will research whether it is still wise to treat my tank with the Maracyn you suggested.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-02-2008, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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1077, I appreciate your input. I'd rather use no medicine in my tank if I can get away from it.

I do use a liquid kit to test with now so I am good to go there.

I do believe my water quality is pretty good. I need to get more test kits obviously though to be 100% certain. I will take your advice and change the water weekly for now.

***Correct to my post about Salt. I mistyped, you add 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons not 1 per 1. ***
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