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Twistersmom 10-31-2009 08:28 PM

Need some fish disease help.
3 Attachment(s)
Some of you, may remember a thread started by me a while back, about my diseased fish.

I have never had fish, sick this long, and not get well or die. Its been a few months. I started Maracyn and Marcyn-Two treatment on October 11th. I have put these fish through almost 3 weeks of this treatment and they are still not completely well. All the stringy white areas that looked like columnaris went away, but still have one with cloudy eyes and some open sores.
I am all out of meds, 3 weeks is longer than the recommended use. I am trying to decide if I should buy more meds tomorrow or discontinue treatment.

The first picture is the fish that started the spread of disease. At first, I just thought it was an infected scratch, till the other fish started developing what looked like columnaris. His sore area has not improved with the use of meds. (looks about the same)

The last picture, is of the rainbow, that was hit the hardest. He had lots of white stringy areas and missing scales on the top and belly side. He is almost completely well, just a small sore on the belly area now. Looks like it could heal up on its own.

bettababy 11-01-2009 02:59 AM

Can you please post your tank stats? The more information we have about your tank and its situation the faster we can help you. Without current water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH there isn't much anyone can do for you... so please include those as well.
If you need a list of questions there is a sticky that provides this for you. If I remember correctly it is the one titled "please read before posting" or something to that effect. If you can't find it let me know and I will search it out and post a direct link here for you.

In the mean time I am going to suggest stopping all medications and add some carbon to the filter to help draw out any meds that are remaining. I would also suggest a 25% - 30% water change. It is not safe for most meds to mix together, so this break in medication is prep for something new that should work for you.

Twistersmom 11-01-2009 08:51 AM

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)
65 gallons

2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water?

3. How long the aquarium has been set up?
3 years

4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
down to 3 cory, 2 peacock eels, down to 3 female bettas (lost 2 of them to dropsy), 3 boesemani rainbows, 3 Parkinson's rainbows, 2 bolivian rams.

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?

6. What temperature is the tank water currently?
76 deg, was kept at 78 deg, but turned down when suspected columnaris

7. What make/model filter are you using?
Emperor 400

8. Are you using a CO2 unit?

9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day?

10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed?
on Tuesday, 50%

11. How often do you perform water changes?
With healthy fish, my normal schedule on the rainbow tank, is 50% weekly.

12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
Twice a day. I could make this list a page long. They are fed a little of most everything, along with some homemade foods. They are not lacking in variety.

13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on?
two Aqua-Glo T8 bulbs. Due to my work schedule, light are on 12 hrs daily.

14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time?
Disease outbreak with the rainbows. Sores, one with cloudy eyes, white fuzzy areas in between scales and on mouths. (all the white fuzzy areas are gone at the moment)
Only one fish with cloudy eyes and two with sores, at this time.
One of the cory, also developed the fuzzy spots, but is fine now.

15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Ph 8, ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate 30 (I have nitrates in my tap water)

16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips?
API liquid

17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank?
This tank has had no new fish for at least 4 months. The last added, where the bettas, that all went through a three week QT.

Some more info, on things I have already tried for treatment.....

They went through a couple weeks of daily 50% water changes (did not help), a couple weeks of Melafix and Primafix (did not help), almost two weeks of Maracyn & Maracyn-Two treatment (decided to remove snails and go with a cheaper med), started Acriflavine treatment for a week (killed 6 of my cory with it). Started doing 50% water changes daily, for two weeks, along with carbon, to remove the Acriflavine. Water was still green from the meds, so did a complete tear down, removed reverse flow UGF, washed the filter and gravel in water from the 210 gal (to save the cycle). As you can see in the picture, the water is still green, but the cycle held.
I went back to the Maracyn & Maracy-Two treatment on October 11th. Have used it everyday, since.
Will be doing a 50% water change today, and adding carbon to remove the meds.

Hope this is enough info, if not, ask away. I have had the rainbows for 1 1/2 years without problems.
As resistant as this disease has been, I am beginning to fear TB. Any help would be appreciated.
Throughout, the fish act completely healthy, good appetite. Without looking at them, I would not know anything was wrong.

Romad 11-01-2009 09:10 AM

Can't help you with your question but just letting you know that I'm crossing my fingers for you. Good luck with whatever is ailing your fish.
Extremely stubborn strain of something huh??

Twistersmom 11-01-2009 09:14 AM

Thanks Romad! With them still eating and acting healthy, I am still hoping for the best.
To euthanize, would be the easy way out, but I do not have it in me to euthanize a healthy acting fish.

bettababy 11-01-2009 02:19 PM

I am wondering if you have a quarantine tank available? (Or an empty tank you could set up quickly with water from an existing tank and air stone)

The reason I'm asking is because your fish have a very severe bacterial infection, and as it has proven resistant to acriflavine the available options with those species of fish is going to be limited. None of the meds that should work would be safe to put in the tank with those eels.

At this point, if a quarantine tank can be set up, I would strongly suggest moving the infected fish to it and beginning treatment with Malachite green. Please be aware that this med may stain the silicone seals in the tank and anything else it touches, but then, so will acriflavine. In this quarantine tank I would also add aquarium salt, 1 tablespoon for every 5 gallons and some type of artificial decorations for hiding places to reduce stress. Follow the instruction on the bottle of malachite green and be very careful not to overdose. This is a pretty potent med.

If you can't find it locally I can help you to find it online, just let me know. There are 2 other medication options, but again I would only work with them in a quarantine tank and the other 2 are not as potent and may not be as effective... so I am prescribing the malachite green based on the resistance this bacterial strain has shown. Malachite green actually contains both of the other 2 meds along with another, in its ingredients. It is the combination of ingredients in the malachite green that should make it effective.

If you have any further questions please ask before making attempts blindly to alter the treatment. Also be sure there is no other medication in the water when you begin this treatment. I can be reached in PM most any hr and am more likely to find a pm faster than a post here, so if its important and can't wait, seek me out there please. I check my email many times in the course of every day/night but I usually only get here once/day.

Best of luck to you!

Twistersmom 11-01-2009 02:46 PM

Thanks for your help!

I can remove the three sick rainbows into QT. No one sells the malachite green in my area, but I have seen it for sell online, so I will place an order tonight.
It seems, that I have read malachite green can also be used as a dip / bath treatment. Do you think the QT tank setup, would be better than a bath treatment?

bettababy 11-01-2009 03:41 PM

I think the full treatment is called for here. If this were fungal I would say the bath might be an effective way to get rid of the fungus because the stain would adhere to the fungus, thus blocking out light and destroying it. Because this is such a severe bacterial infection and it sounds as if you have effectively destroyed the fungus already, I am going to stick to my original prescription of the full treatment in QT.

Please understand there is never a guarantee that any treatment will work, but the malachite green is your best bet at this stage. Please keep a close eye on the fish once treatment begins just in case any of them has an adverse reaction to the medication. Because this med is quite harsh it can be stressful on a fish that is in a weakened state... and just like people or other animals, there is always the risk that any animal can react badly to a medication that is otherwise known as safe for that species. If you notice any bad reactions to the meds by any of the fish, please remove that fish from QT immediately and return it to the main tank, and let me know. If that should happen we can then research other options for that fish.

I am pretty confident that this should resolve your problem and I am not expecting you to have further issues, please keep me posted.

Twistersmom 11-01-2009 04:24 PM

Thanks Bettababy!
One more question. I know, I do not want to mix meds, should I be concerned about placing the main tank water into the QT tank, with it still being green from the acriflavine? After a complete tear down and a few carbon changes, I would think whatever is making the water green, is not an active med?

I will be working on removing the Maracyn. Already did a 50% water change and added carbon today. Think I will change out another 50% tomorrow.

bettababy 11-01-2009 05:18 PM

I would say easy on large water changes, as that will stress the fish. You don't want to change water params too drastically. As for water from the main tank, if you can get it into the QT tank and run a filter on it with carbon for a couple of days that should effectively remove any remaining medication... in case somehow something is still leeching meds into the main tank from somewhere. A 30% water change should be plenty at any one time.

Are you positive it is still the water that is colored or is it the glass that is stained? Acriflavine is well known for staining anything it comes into contact, and why when I suggest someone use it I always have them do so in a QT tank only. Try removing some of the tank water into a clear or white cup (preferrably disposable) to see if the staining is actually the water or the tank glass. If it is for sure the water, try changing the carbon and putting in some fresh carbon... and don't be afraid to change out carbon 2 - 3 times in the course of a week until all of the medication is removed.

With that many water changes having been done already, it is very possible the staining you are seeing now is the silicone and glass of the tank.

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