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welshboy99 08-27-2012 07:36 PM

Help - White Fuzzy Algae on fish
I have a Pleco which looks like he has cut himself on our broken barrel ornament, He has a big scab over the wound with white looking algae stuff over the top, Other fish are attempting to eat this but it hurts the Pleco so I have has to remove those troublemaking fish. He has had this wound for about 1 week now and he does not seem as lively as usual.

Heres a Picture:

Help is appreciated,

AbbeysDad 08-27-2012 07:56 PM

It is a fungus. If it does not improve on it's own, you may need to relocate to a hospital tank and treat with anti-fungal medicine.

TheWonderfulWub 08-27-2012 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by AbbeysDad (Post 1216708)
It is a fungus. If it does not improve on it's own, you may need to relocate to a hospital tank and treat with anti-fungal medicine.

I'd honestly relocate him to a hospital tank anyway and treat with Pimafix, rather than taking chances with him fighting it off on his own.

welshboy99 08-28-2012 01:17 AM


Originally Posted by TheWonderfulWub (Post 1216710)
I'd honestly relocate him to a hospital tank anyway and treat with Pimafix, rather than taking chances with him fighting it off on his own.

Are there any known causes of this fungus?? Why he got it from a simple wound? and how much would a hospital tank cost NZD?

Thank you for your replies that takes a bit of stress off my shoulders but to relieve the rest I need to know is this harmful to him or the other fish because I don't want my whole lot to die.


sidluckman 08-28-2012 04:32 AM

Sometimes abrasions and even burns from heaters can get infected. Not always. Just as when you are injured, the wound most often heals without a problem, but infections can also occur.

I agree that the fish should be isolated and treated so as not to attract unwanted attention from tankmates that may pick at it.

A hospital tank can be a very simple set up: 10 gallon tank with a filter and heater. I advise a hood of some kind, but I doubt the pleco will jump. You don't have to have the tank set up at all times, but really should have one available for quarantine and isolation. Good luck With your fish.

Geomancer 08-28-2012 05:09 PM

The filter needs to be seeded, or do water changes every other day using an ammonia binding water conditioner (for example Prime).

Can't just throw fish into an un-cycled tank and expect them to get better, they'll actually get worse unless you keep the water quality up.

sidluckman 08-28-2012 10:58 PM

In such a situation, you could move the established filter media to the quarantine tank, and take the opportunity to put new media in the main tank.

I agree that water parameters must be monitored in hospital/quarantine tanks, but seeding/cycling these tanks isn't usually my first concern as many medications will negatively affect nitrifying bacteria anyway. But if the fish is simply being isolated, not medicated, then yes, I would try to ensure that an effective biological filter is in place.

Frequent water changes (with proper re-dosing of medications) and use of detoxifying additives and conditioners are my main strategies for maintaining water quality in quarantine. Depending on the urgency and the value of the fish in question, I sometimes have performed water changes twice daily in qt. This, by the way, is an excellent strategy for hastening the elimination of Ich.

Once the fish become asymptomatic and use of medications can be suspended, it's a good time to try to seed the quarantine tank if the fish are to remain there further for observation. In this case, once the Pleco looks like healthy tissue is beginning to regrow, I think I would return it to the main tank sooner than later.

AbbeysDad 08-30-2012 09:00 AM

I agree that seeding a filter in a quarantine tank makes no sense if you will use a fungicide or anti-bacterial medication, or others that would kill the beneficial bacteria too.
We need a quarantine tank that's large enough and a water change regimen that ensures against toxic levels of ammonia while the fish is being treated...otherwise the 'cure' may be worse than the disease.

1077 08-30-2012 09:22 AM

Have used cheap rubbermaid tub's (Walmart) for quarantine tank/hospital tank.
Will need heater and filter for same. Cheap spongefilter would work.

sidluckman 08-30-2012 09:39 AM

Although I have used tubs to quarantine live rock, observation will be difficult. You can lift the fish into a specimen container and check on its progress, though. In my mind, quarantine is essential. Having the ideal quarantine tank is secondary.

The irony of quarantine and hospital tanks occurred to me when I first got into marine tanks. In a way, QTs have the least efficient filtration and the worst water your fish will ever encounter in your care. Over there sits your main system with all its bells and whistles, while your ailing fish is in a small tank with a weak filter, no biological, dangerous chemicals, and HOPE!

Quarantine tanks require a lot of regular maintenance to keep the water quality as high as possible in light of all you have working against you. Siphoning several times a day, water changes as needed, which can be daily or more often, copious testing for parameters and level of copper (if applicable) and careful redosing of meds everytime you refill.

I agree 1000% with Abbysdad that a 10 gallon QT will hardly be sufficient for all cases. Big fish require big tanks, even if the tank in question is a temporary quarantine tank. I don't think you will ever cure a 10 inch oscar in a 10 gallon quarantine tank. . .

Interesting topic, everyone, I enjoyed reading all the perspectives.

Good luck with the Pleco!

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