Sick apisto. Is this fungus?
We survived cycling. Everything was going so smoothly. Then today my little boy woke up to a sick apisto. It's his favorite fish. The tank mates all look and act normal. There have been no changes to the tank in over a month. I have at least twice the filtration I need and the tank is 25 gal. We use the API master kit and test regularly, including today. Levels are all zero and always are. I did a 50% water change this morning. The tank has the apisto, 6 cory cats and a little angel. It has been difficult to get pics of this guy's ailment, so I'm just sending what I've got. Thanks so much!
It sure looks like fungus. Going through the cycling might have stressed the fish. Stressed fish are much More susceptible to diseases and issues. Fungus usually goes for open wounds. They sell a few types of medicine at pet stores to treat fungus, I would try that. And good luck!
Is it white and cotton-like? White, cottony growth that appears on healthy tissue can indicate Columnaris. (If it grows on previously injured or infected tissue, it's more likely to be Saprolegnia, a fungus.)
Columnaris is caused by a type of gram negative bacteria called Flavobacterium columnare. The bacteria is often found in aquariums, but the fish's immune system can usually keep the fish healthy.
Once it takes hold, Columnaris can be aggressive so if this was my fish, I would treat it quickly. Here are several suggestions on how to treat/control Columnaris. Do whichever seems best to you, based on the species of fish and your own preference.
Option 1) Treat the sick fish only and use a gram-negative antibiotic.
Quarantine the sick fish in a hospital tank. Since Columnaris can spread quickly, I would treat with a gram-negative antibiotic. Everyone has their own preference for antibiotics. For treating Columnaris, I've found the furan medications (Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone) to be highly effective. Some brands names are: API Furan 2, Hikari Bifuran, Jungle Fungus Clear.
Option 2) Treat the sick fish only and use only holistic treatment.
Quarantine the sick fish in a hospital tank. I'm not familiar with apistos, but from what I read, they don't tolerate salt. (The bacteria that causes Columnaris doesn't like salt.) Do you know how they are with mild antimicrobials such as Melafix or Pimafix? If they're OK with it, one of these might be an option.
Other suggestions that may help:
Good luck. Keep us updated....
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