Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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small fry 11-06-2010 11:50 PM

Unbeatable mouthrot?
Hello. I have a 10 gallon tank with fish infected with mouthrot. The fish setup is not at all ideal and I will upgrade ASAP (probably within the next 3 months or so). I have 2 Swordail, 2 Lemon Tetras, 1 Corydoras. Before you tell me all the things that are wrong with that, trust me, I know.

Mouthrot has been going around at least 2 months (but I think it is close to 3). I have no idea what the nitrates are (as the test kits for 25 strips are $12 at my lfs!). I am doing a Gravel Vac tomorrow. I just can't get rid of it!

I think it is mouthrot but it may be fungus on the mouth. My swordtail that has it the worst (which really isn't bad) eats like a pig and is SO fat it makes me frown everytime I see him. Opposite with the tetras.

It looks like a ball of tight-fibered cotton right on the lip everytime. It probably came from my first LT that died from it (that was mouthrot for sure).

I am trying not to use medication if I can help it. They have been on serious meds over the last 2 months. Not helping. Just getting me even broker.:-(. Anybody know how to stop mouthrot? I think if I have to deal with this too much longer I am going to lose my mind (and my budget)!

Any tips or links will be greatly apprecieted!

kitten_penang 11-07-2010 02:14 AM

get an empty tank no plants or if you want a single fake silk plant.100% new de-chlorinated water.wash the filter in hot water.throw all old filter sponge and add new one. keep the water very clean during the treatment proses.add air stone if necessary. what meds are you using??? if possible get intrepet anti fungus and mouth's worked very well for me in the past.while your treating them in this tank.take apart and clean all the things in the main tank with hot water to kill of the fungus.then start cycling the tank's a lot of work but thats the only way i can think of to get rid of the fungus once and for all.

small fry 11-07-2010 09:07 AM

Are you suggesting that I cycle a new tank with my fish in it, and then cycle the tank they are in now while they are in the new one? I am just making sure I understand. I will try to make room for another 10. I am trying to get a bigger tank soon (20-55g), maybe I can put the fish in there? I will try to figure that out.

Also, my corydoras health seems to be declining. He looks really bloated. I only feed him half an algae disc or I shrimp pellet a day. I don't know if it is a diesase or not.:-(

Aslo, I have a power filter with a bacteria colony catridge (I forgot what they are called) and a carbon filter cartridge. I regualerly change the carbon. I can throw them both away if I need to.

Any special treatment once I move them over?

Thanks for the post. I try to get the new tank as soon as I can afford it...

kitten_penang 11-07-2010 11:23 AM

well if the water is set for a day an de-chlorinated i won't worry about hurting the fish if the tank is empty and void of gravel and too many plants and deco.make sure it's aerated really treat fungus the water quality has to be constantly clean as dirty water is the main cause of fungus attacks on fish and your fish has been suffering for so long.
boiling water kills and left over fungus in the equipment and tank.
i told you to get a new tank for a few reasons.1 is so that you can clean the main tank and equipment and get rid of all the fungus and 2 since your using gravel and plants.the healing time of the fish will give the main tank of plants time to cycle and stabilize.the qt tank doesn't need to be big but it has to have sufficient space and a good filter to keep the tank well oxygenated and clean.
if your getting a bigger tank. you can set that up as the main and use the old tank thats empty and disinfected as a qt tank.
please take not if your using melafix it's a waste of time as it's only for minor attacks of fungus.your fish have suffered for more then 2 months.maracyn added with maracyn plus is a slightly better choice but in powder form they could cloud the tank making things worst if the filter isn't good enough.i find intrepet the best as it's a clear liquid. it's a very effective antibiotics to a wide range of fungus types. if the mouthrot is mild it takes only 3 days for it to disappear and week in the right dosage to clear the tank of all signs of fungus.

small fry 11-07-2010 06:05 PM

Unfortunately, will probably be a while before I can afford a new tank. I could wait, I guess, but I am worried about the overall delcining health of my fish.

I was wondering if I could put all my fish and my live plants in a bucket for maybe an hour. Dump out the tank water. Put all fake plants and decor in a bowl. Fill the bowl with really hot water. Fill the tank will really hot water. Dry everything and rinse again. And then start over with all new water. Then add the fish and plants back. Will this work? I have an airstone system that I can sanitize and put in the bucket if I need to.

I can do the 2 tank plan, but it wont be before early next year.

Thanks for helping!:-D

kitten_penang 11-08-2010 09:19 AM

well you could do that. a single silk plant and a deco for the fish to rest will be ok. remove all the's easier to keep the water clean that way.good luck and let me know how it goes

Chicklet 11-08-2010 07:40 PM

Something you might want to read.
Guppy Designer - Flexibacter columnaris

small fry 11-09-2010 05:39 AM

Well, I examined my fish and notice 1 or 2 of the symtoms. The gills are a bit swollen. I don't know about the mouth, though. The guy didn't really give a front side picture.

Just to be sure we are on the same page, is this the link you were reffering to Guppy Designer - Flexibacter columnaris? I couldn't get your link to work (I think maybe because it had the word "guppy" in it and tried to send me to the fish profiles). I just googled "guppy designer - Flexibacter Columnaris". And clicked on the first thing that came up (

Anyway, there were a series of sentences that would make me think that my fish don't have this diesase, such as;

"They also found significant differences in the strains. They range in the symptoms they produce and their virulence. The most virulent strain can kill a tank overnight. Another strain may take a week to ravage a tank. Although the researchers found four strains, it is possible there are more."

(maybe I discovered a new strain:lol:) (just kidding)

"The most effective treatment occurs when the guppy first shows signs of the disease and before it stops eating. If the guppy has had it for three days, it is extremely difficult to cure."

Oops! That leaves my fish out! (maybe that only applies to guppies)

There are a few more contridictions but I will not go into them.

I've noticed that after I added an airstone (couple days ago)(you might have seen the thread "am I driving my fish crazy!?") the diesase almost seemed to mutate. The symtoms that had lasted over 2 months had changed in a couple days. Maybe it is worsening. I don't know.

I would have to say, it appears my swordtail has it the worst (he is a glutten!). The symtoms of this unknown diesase that he has is;
1. Blackish brown lining around his mouth (it appears to be rotting:-()
2. Somewhat swollen gills (what my female swordtail had before she died)
3. Darker, almost black coloring around the mouth
4. Increased agression (this might just be because the female died recently)

As far as I can tell, he is my most active out of 9 fish (5 in his tank including him), even the cichlids. He eats like a pig on caffene. If you don't look closely at him, you wouldn't know he is sick. The female swordtail died from (appearently) the same diesase. Her symtoms included;
1. Major fungus/bacteria/parasites at the mouth (probably bacteria but I don't know)
2. Swollen gills
3. No activity (sat at the bottom at gravel in awkward posistions and only moved every 5 or 10 minutes)
4. Looked "depressed" (call me weird but sometimes I think I can tell my fish's mood by staring in its eyes, I think fish have more facial features than we give them credit for)
5. White coloration on the gills (my male swordtail is starting to get this white coloration)

I think salt is a good idea for pretty much any diesase (excluding a few). I read somewhere that catfish couldn't handle salt (I have an albino (bronze) corydoras (cory cat)). Has anyone ever heard this? Or had good/bad expiriences with cories and salt?

brief outline;
don't think it is that guppy diesase someone reffered to
my male swordtail might be taking a turn for the worst
will freshwater aquarium salt injure my albino corydoras

Sorry for such a long post. It is pretty bad when you have to spend an hour in a half writing a post:roll:.

Thanks for the help!

kitten_penang 11-10-2010 01:31 AM

salt is a no no for cats. sorry.. you tanks looks like it's in real deep .. you know. any way try out what i told you and see if they get better

Chicklet 11-10-2010 07:21 AM

I can't say as salt is bad for cory cats,
I use to use it and it's what saved a big bunch I use to have too.

I use it now but only when really needed as I've come to see aquarium salt is way over used in aquariums.

I would say you do have the problem as mentioned on the page I tried to post, (yes you found the right page)
And at this point you've got alot more things going on too, as also mentioned on that page.
When the fishies ammune system is weakened, Anything can find its way in.

This has been going on for to long, Sounds like you have a multiplicity of things now happening with your fish.

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