Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lozza 11-05-2009 03:30 AM

Sick neon :(
65 litre aqua start fish tank 4 years old
heater + filter
PH; 7.3
ammonia; 0
nitrates; 0
3 neons, 1 zebra danio

help!! I have been hoping to re-stock my tank for a while since many of my fish (used to have livebeares) have died in the last few months. I was checking my fish when I noticed one of the neons has a white cottony fungus growing on its tail. I went to the pet shop and was told to put some PIMAFIX in and i am currently on the 6th day of treatment (it says to put it in for 7). I have been checking the tail and it seems to have gotton larger rather than smaller? :( is there anything I can do or is it too late as the fungus seems to have spread to both sides of the tail but yet the fish is still eating happily/ Should I stop the treatment? plz help me

Lupin 11-05-2009 03:33 AM

Could you please post photos of the affected area? Pimafix works as a preventive treatment, not as a corrective treatment. I'd ditch the Pimafix aside and stop using it. It could be bacterial infection rather than fungal infection but I want to see the photos first before I recommend a proper treatment for this. For now, remove the med by putting a carbon in your filter or do some water changes.

What test kit do you use? I find it intriguing your nitrate is zero. Is your tank heavily planted? What is your maintenance schedule?

lozza 11-05-2009 03:45 AM

whoops i meant zero nitrites and i dont have any plants. I clean the tank every couple of weeks not as often as i used to becuse theres less fish now. Cant post picture right now coz its night and the lights not on but it kinda looks like cotton wool stuck to its tail.

lozza 11-05-2009 03:46 AM

agh im so angry at the pet shop person she said she uses pimafix with her fish and that it works waste of 20 bucks :(

Lupin 11-05-2009 05:03 AM

It sounds a lot like columnaris to me. Don't buy and treat first until we have the photos but I'll just post some advice in advance if ever the photos should confirm what the exact issue is.

Now, for columnaris, this is a gram-negative motile bacteria. It is one of the most common bacterial infections alongside with hemorrhage septicemia (Aeromonas hydrophila). It will always be present in tanks and will strike when the mucous membrane becomes damaged as a result of parasites inflicting the damage such as protozoans like ich and external parasites like fish lice aside from weakened immune system as a result of the stress generated from the presence of these parasites.

To treat columnaris, you need antibiotics that should hit gram-negative bacteria instead of gram-positive bacteria although a broad spectrum bactericide will work. Be warned that almost all antibiotics are potent and can destroy your beneficial bacteria so watch out for your water parameters in case the ammonia and nitrite begin to elevate dangerously. If possible, treat the affected fish in a hospital tank or tub to save your main tank's beneficial bacteria from the trouble. Get a sponge filter and heater. A hospital tank needs not be decorated for hygienic reasons. It should remain barebottom.

Kanamycin, tri sulfa and tetracycline are often recommended for various bacterial infections. All three can be ingested by the fish if we are dealing with internal bacterial infection otherwise simply dose them in the tank. Follow the instructions carefully labeled on the container. Be very careful not to overdose the antibiotics. Tetracycline will not work effectively if your pH is 7.6 or more.

Another antibiotics I'd recommend are the combination of Maracyn (erythromycin) and Maracyn 2 (minocycline). Both meds are heavy duty treatments and may be lethal if overdosed so again, follow instructions carefully however they should be effective against columnaris.

Acriflavine may work but be very careful not to handle it directly with your bare hands as it can stain. This is best used in a hospital tank, not your main tank. Wear gloves as much as possible when handling it.

There's another which I have not tried yet, Tricide Neo but I do not believe there is a bacterial infection common in the aquarium industry that is resistant to this treatment. It may be worth your while although if this is also lethal, your neon tetras may not stand a chance against this treatment. Neons tend to be sensitive to meds.

For fungal infections (saprolegnia), I'd go with malachite green. A 0.1% solution which is a drop per gallon may be effective against saprolegnia cases assuming the issue is indeed fungal infection although fungal infections are hard to come by and are often misdiagnosed as bacterial infection, a false perception that has already confused countless number of hobbyists of the issue they are dealing with. Only microscopy can accuately help identify such issue.

By the way, welcome to TFK! Please do not hesitate to ask more questions if you still feel the need to ask.

lozza 11-06-2009 12:03 AM

Wow u really know ur stuff :) Thanks for replying!! Ill just nod and pretend I know what ur talking about ;) I hope my petshop has the right meds.. Ok Ive taken them off the pimafix and im gonna to a water change. I took some photos
if I buy a filter and put the fish in the hospital tank/bucket thing wont that stress the fish out because of cycling? plus should I use the water from my tank whe I do the next water change?

Lupin 11-06-2009 12:22 AM

Hi Lozza,

It looks like we may be dealing with a mixture of bacterial and fungal infection. If you do wish to treat the fish in a hospital tank, a 10g minimum will allow you to stabilize water conditions much quickly. Buy a sponge filter and a heater intended for hospital purposes only. Add a plastic plant or two in your hospital tank. Once you set up the hospital tank, place the affected neon tetra in there immediately and treat with acriflavine. Follow the instructions carefully written on the bottle. Wear gloves when you administer the treatment as acriflavine can stain your skin. If the treatment does not work very well on the issue and the fish goes downhill, then we may not have much choice but to perform euthanasia on it. Neon tetras are very sensitive to treatments.

You have only two choices: to immediately destroy the fish before the disease spreads on your other fish or to go on with your treatment process by using acriflavine.

In the end, you still need a hospital tank anyway regardless of whichever route you want to go. If you are in USA, check the Craigslist for tank deals on a 10g although 10g tends to be much cheaper than anything smaller than it that are sold as novelty items.


lozza 11-06-2009 01:00 AM

is there any chance it will get better without taking it out of the tank? my dad said he wont spend money trying to save this one fish we dont have craigslist (live in australia) and everything is so expensive at the petshop and that I should kill it :'( I dont know how to kill it but if it kills the other fish.. im crying right now even though I have lost so many fish I just cant think that one will have to die because of me, because I killed it. Im such a wuss I know even though its just a little fish!!

Lupin 11-06-2009 01:44 AM

Hun, I know how you feel but if you cannot treat the fish, then really, our only option here is euthanasia if you want to save your other fish from getting infected by a possible mix of fungus and bacterial infection. Euthanasia is easily done by grabbing a tub of fresh clean water and then pouring clove oil there. Clove oil is available as a toothache drop in pharmacies. It will slowly put your fish to sleep and the fish eventually dies. For big fish, it works well as a sedative. I've used clove oil before to sedate my goldfish before performing a tumor removal surgery on it.

Cheer up. Sometimes the inevitable has to be done to save your remaining pets. *hugs*

teddyzaper 11-08-2009 10:20 AM

not to be all happy about putting your fish down but another way to do it is to freeze it, some people consider it cruel but ive done it and yes i feel bad about it but its free instead of buying the clove stuff. just remember its a living creature, SORRY. hugs!

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