Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ChrisR 10-15-2011 03:47 PM

Strange growth
 
Can anybody help me to identify the strange growth on the mouth of my Neon Tetra? The growth has been there ever since I bought the fish, but over time, it has steadily grown bigger, and now I don't even know how the fish manages to eat. It doesn't seem to bother him at all, but i was wondering if anybody knows what it is, and if it can be treated. Thanks for reading:


GwenInNM 10-15-2011 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisR (Post 862870)
Can anybody help me to identify the strange growth on the mouth of my Neon Tetra? The growth has been there ever since I bought the fish, but over time, it has steadily grown bigger, and now I don't even know how the fish manages to eat. It doesn't seem to bother him at all, but i was wondering if anybody knows what it is, and if it can be treated. Thanks for reading:


I did some searching and found this info:

This would appear to be Mouth Fungus, which, despite its name, is a bacterial infection, sometimes called Columnaris (the bacteria species is called Flavobacterium columnare, or in older books, Flexibacter columnaris, hence the name). It isn't difficult to treat when caught early, and an anti-Finrot medications will usually work well. Fungus proper can look similar, but the threads are usually longer and fluffier. Some medications will treat both; I particularly recommend eSHa 2000 because of this, and in the UK and parts of Europe this medication is widely sold an inexpensive. Do remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used, while medicating. Mouth Fungus may be caused by water quality issues, or it may be a result of fighting or some other type of physical damage to the mouth. Review and act accordingly.

Best of luck! I'd treat ASAP if I were you.

Gwen

ChrisR 10-16-2011 03:28 AM

Thanks very much Gwen! Before I go ahead with treatment, I thought I should add a few more details that I forgot to mention in the first post. In the picture, the growth appears to be white and 'cotton wool' like, yet in reality it is more of a yellowish color and looks more 'solid' - at a guess, I would say it looks more like a tumor than fungus. But you clearly know your stuff, so if you still think it's a fungus, then I'll go ahead and treat it - just wanted you to have all the details and be 100% sure - thanks again :-)

Oh, and one more thing. The mouth appears to be 'deformed' around the growth as if the growth has actually prevented it from growing normally, you can see this a bit in the bottom picture.

GwenInNM 10-16-2011 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisR (Post 863454)
Thanks very much Gwen! Before I go ahead with treatment, I thought I should add a few more details that I forgot to mention in the first post. In the picture, the growth appears to be white and 'cotton wool' like, yet in reality it is more of a yellowish color and looks more 'solid' - at a guess, I would say it looks more like a tumor than fungus. But you clearly know your stuff, so if you still think it's a fungus, then I'll go ahead and treat it - just wanted you to have all the details and be 100% sure - thanks again :-)

Oh, and one more thing. The mouth appears to be 'deformed' around the growth as if the growth has actually prevented it from growing normally, you can see this a bit in the bottom picture.


It is hard sometimes to know exactly what to treat for, but start with something that treats white cotton mouth or a broad fungus treatment, and see if it gets better. I had a fish that had a lump on the back of its tail, I treated it for that, thinking it may be a parasite (it was under the scales), but it didn't get better. I was told it was probably a tumor. I put him back with his tank mates, he developed other secondary things - where his mouth was wide open and didn't shut. Apparently nothing can be done about that, something to do with the jaw locking. Anyways, he could still eat (not as well) but within a couple months he died suddenly. I was told he was probably just genetically a weak fish. You can only do what you can do, but start something. You could also try just good old plain salt (no idodine, but not aquarium salt). Kosher or sea salt. Start with one teaspoon per gallon, and see how that goes. Salt is not good for live plants. I would suspect if you don't get aggressive with treatment he will likely die. At this time, I'd opt more for a comprehensive water medication for fungus, and after that is done, keep your water clean because that is a good prevention for all sorts of things that can happen in the tank. Best of luck!

Gwen

ChrisR 10-16-2011 02:02 PM

Thanks for the advice Gwen, I'll get some medication tomorrow and try that first :-)

ChrisR 10-17-2011 12:07 PM

Well, today I went to the pet store, and as I was looking for the correct medication, the lady asked me if she could be of any assistance. I described the symptoms to her and she asked me what kind of fish it was. When I told her it was a Neon, she told me that the best thing I could do for it is to euthanize it :( She said that if it had been a cichlid, or a fish of some financial value, then it would have been worth saving, but as it's only a Neon....??

She advised me to put it in a cup of water and freeze it, but I can't do it. The fish doesn't appear to be suffering with it. My only concern is that the growth will eventually cover the mouth entirely, preventing the fish from feeding, but I think I would notice if that was the case.

So now I have no medication, and a decision to make. I know it's ONLY a Neon, but it's still a life, however much it cost. I don't think he's ready to be put to sleep yet :(

KendraMc 10-17-2011 12:22 PM

Quote:

She advised me to put it in a cup of water and freeze it
just a note on this part, i usually hear to take a cup of ice water and put the fish in, not freezing the water with the fish already in it. i would guess that if the water is already cold enough the fish goes into shock and it's body shuts down quickly (i've had to do this, it was very fast) while freezing the water with a fish in it sounds slower, which i would think is worse.

ChrisR 10-17-2011 01:04 PM

Ok thanks Kendra. I still can't bring myself to do it. Obviously, if the fish starts showing signs of suffering, then I'll have to think again, but for now, I think I'll just leave him be and see what happens. It's not like this growth has suddenly appeared overnight, it's been there for nearly his whole life, which is more than a year so far.


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