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Firefly - 20 yrs of fish keeping.. never got an illness/sick from it, and never had an outbreak other than 1 ich attack in 1 tank. It's good to be cautious and to be aware, take precautions.. but don't let it force you to stop, or not want to do it. More than likely you won't run into any issues such as this. People who just get one or few bettas for pets have a lower risk. It's more for people who keep dozens, who are always purchasing/ordering/shipping/breeding/etc that have a higher risk of getting this as many fish are shared and sold from all over the world.

So enjoy the hobby, take your normal sanitizing precautions and be aware - make sure to wash hands before/after, use those long rubber gloves they sell for fish keeping if you want, etc. But don't let it stop you in any way.. I remember hearing about "fish TB" for the first time back in the mid-late 90s and I worried.. but eventually just forgot about it because the longer I kept/bred fish, the more of a routine I got into taking care of making sure things/me are sanitized :)
 

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Discussion Starter #182
wasn't trying to wake this thread up, but I can't help but wonder some of the other mods opinions on Mycobacteria, as in all the strains that affect fish, also which ones and what are the chances of a person contracting it?

I know i have read what i can find but there seems to be only real threat to those with immune deficiencies and open wounds to hands.

I was put off from keeping fish for a while after learning about myco, I am such a germophobe, even though I have kept almost every type of pet.

Since I am back in the hobby, this alarms me, because So many pet store workers have no qualms at all in placing there hands directly in tanks.
I know half of them don't even clean floors/ equipment regularly.
I find my self wondering how often outbreaks actually occur in humans?
in fish?
Are we making more of it than need be?
To be honest it freaks me out knowing it can happen.
Think about how many ignorant people are out there, but the old saying goes ignorance is bliss.
It is very difficult to be educated, and logical, as well as the average everyday joe. i know the members here range from all walks of life and education levels.
I truly wonder how any of us can put it out of our minds, I know it occurs naturally.
Should we really be using more harsher chemicals for disinfecting, isn't this why super bugs occur?
I am pondering using more than good old bleach, vinegar and Alcohol. I do want to keep myself and family safe, but I just don't know what to believe at times.
I read in one scientific article that 90% alcohol will kill about anything if left on for 10 min or left to dry.

I am sorry for rambling I just think it is a good/ important topic to discuss. I am late to the party anyone have further thoughts?
Used to be the mycos was something really not seen. So a bunch of us breeders got it.. we are kinda a closed circle. No big deal. But walking into 6 lfs and seeing fish with the lesions was a bit unnerving. And to find all 6 bought their fish from same place. Now not good. And management refuses to destroy the fish and take precautions is real bad news for something that spreads as easily as this does as we not have the possibility of it spreading to other tanks. Other fish not as vulnerable as a betta my end up being a carrier.

So this forum is huge and a way to get the info out that we may be seeing the beginning of a real mess. If you buy fish from lfs REALLY look over all fish and make sure the entire stock of them are healthy. Keep any new fish in quarantine 60 days and REALLY watch them for the crud that gets on their face. If fast moving fin rot shows up or the lesions take action quickly.

Get a cleaner capable of killing mycos and use it. And if you don't buy fish and every body is healthy then just enjoy your fish. Look at you fish room and start to think of things you do that may spread disease.. like velvet. And starring thinking bio-security and avoid transferring ANYTHING.

This is not the time to rescue half dead fish as the chances of it being a simple fin rot it slim.
 

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I've seen some fish at walmart recently with pretty aggressive fin rot, but the last time I checked they only had one female left. She looked alright, but a little pale. So either they all died or most of them were purchased.

The last four fish I have purchased, one was from Earl May and the other three from a private breeder. So far, they are all healthy, besides the fact that the male from Earl May has gone blind and he's prone to constipation issues.

Does anyone by chance know where Earl May gets their fish from? Are they all the same, for the most part?
 

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If people want to rescue sick fish, that's their perogative, BB. Chances are it's not myco but the effects of ammonia poisoning.

I'm throwing this out there as a warning to everyone:

Please be careful about accusing stores, suppliers, and wholesalers about selling fish with mycobacteriosis. You cannot prove that a fish has this disease without dissecting it, nor can you tell it has this disease simply by eyeballing it in a store. To accuse a business of selling diseased fish could get you into legal trouble and we at the forum do not wish this to happen. It is bad practice to make accusations that can't be substantiated. Everyone, please refrain from this for your own sakes.
 

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I am currently reading a paper about a group of people studied that contracted M. marinum. The photos are nasty. From what I can tell most of these people had immunodeficiencies already and most were older. I'll have to get back to you when I'm done analyzing it.
Currently, the people with the worst symptoms were the last to start seeking medical attention and that is a big aspect of the disease.
Nasty marks on the area affected, some were operated on, haven't read the side effects. One guy got it in his eye (he was fishing and the hook got into his eye). So it seems you do need open wounds as well.

The truth is that there is so much more to this disease than this thread says, and it's easy to freak people out with all this misinformation here... Things such as saying "TB" (no none of your fish have tuberculosis and you will not get tuberculosis from your fish).

I really have to study for finals but hopefully will follow up properly soon...
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We may have very well read the same/similar paper, i know one guy lost half a finger and the pics of M. marinum are grotesque.


Myates - I have dealt with Ich a few times, and whatever caused all my guppies to die off right before i took a long break from the hobby, its a long story but could have been a combination of bad water at the place we moved to, me trying to save them / to many meds, and so on and so forth. they died quickly it was traumatizing for me and i didn't keep fish for like 3 years after that. i was burnt out on it then.

BB - sorry for your losses, and i know as we all were beginners once and even experienced fish keepers can make the quarantine mistake. I think it has to do with the excitement and love of fish.
What is the cleaner you are using to kill mycos? do you think there are anymore natural safer cleaners.
I have other pets and young children, not to mention other people in the house. I like to be as green as possible.
Ps. I don't try and rescue sick fish, but I am working on acquiring fish for community/sorority tank .

Ayala - not sure where Early May gets there fish now, but long ago here where I live they used to be my absolute go to place for all my pets, they had all local breeders back in the day, but that was when I was a kid and they, shut down our only location with pets years ago.
 

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A friend of Coppermoon that was told what I had and that her fish also were positive to mycos. The triplex comments were added after my results were given.

I agree with him on many of his articles and have learned a lot from them.. but do not feel giving the hope of treatment is fair because it is not accurate. It is a death sentence for the fish. I looked for hope.. but there really was none. I was in denial for over a week.. then finally had to accept what needed done. People are treated for this at least 9 month to a year. No way a fish will be cured in a few months. If the scientist can not save a commercial breeder or research fish.. then the reality is they could not save mine.
Sorry for interrupt again.
I am sorry for you lost fishes.
I would like to know MTB is active whole a year ?
Do you know that ?
 

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Sorry for interrupt again.
I am sorry for you lost fishes.
I would like to know MTB is active whole a year ?
Do you know that ?
1) "Fish TB" is not the same as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB).

MTB is the tuberculosis that occurs in people (and mammals). However, fish are not affected by this particular type of Mycobacteria.*

2) OTHER type of Mycobacteria DO affect fish, such as Mycobacterium marinum (MM), Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium triplex (MT), etc.

3) All strains of Mycobacteria are protected by a waxy coating. It can survive on dry surfaces for months.** I read somewhere that it can live in distilled water for a year, but I can't find that source right now.

Sources:
* https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/getFactSheet/whichfactsheet/231/
** http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/6/130
 

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This may be a dumb question but what about Aeromonas bacteria? That also will not respond to meds and there is no way to ill the bacteria, yet the symptoms are similar to Myco and columnaris...
When infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, fish develop ulcers, tail rot, fin rot, and hemorrhagic septicemia. Hemorrhagic septicaemia causes lesions that lead to scale shedding, hemorrhages in the gills and anal area, ulcers, exophthalmia, and abdominal swelling.
Aeromonas hydrophila is a heterotrophic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium mainly found in areas with a warm climate. This bacterium can be found in fresh or brackish water. It can survive in aerobic and anaerobic environments, and can digest materials such as gelatin and hemoglobin. Aeromonas hydrophila was isolated from humans and animals in the 1950s. It is the most well known of the six species of Aeromonas. It is resistant to most common antibiotics and cold temperatures.
 

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This may be a dumb question but what about Aeromonas bacteria? That also will not respond to meds and there is no way to ill the bacteria, yet the symptoms are similar to Myco and columnaris...
Basement Betta's and Coppermoon's fish were infected with Mycobacteria. This was verified by lab analysis.

But, as Sakura and others have pointed out, a lot of other diseases have similar symptoms, and are NOT caused by Mycobacterial infection.

So, yes, a fish COULD be infected with something else, and display similar symptoms.

The only way to know for sure whether the fish has Mycobacterial infection is to send it to a lab for analysis. (As Coppermoon and BB did.)
 

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1) "Fish TB" is not the same as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB).

MTB is the tuberculosis that occurs in people (and mammals). However, fish are not affected by this particular type of Mycobacteria.*

2) OTHER type of Mycobacteria DO affect fish, such as Mycobacterium marinum (MM), Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium triplex (MT), etc.

3) All strains of Mycobacteria are protected by a waxy coating. It can survive on dry surfaces for months.** I read somewhere that it can live in distilled water for a year, but I can't find that source right now.

Sources:
* https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/getFactSheet/whichfactsheet/231/
** http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/6/130
Thank you so much for teach me.
I just want to know if it's relationship the season or not. I'll read those article.

Thank you very much !
 

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I am almost 100% sure Dr. Seuss has this. I just spent the last few hours reading through the info on these threads, both the original "mystery disease" thread and this one.

The reasons I think this are:

  1. He has all the symptoms of the fast moving mystery disease. Overnight swim bladder infection and massive fin rot. He looks awful, he can't swim, he's gasping as though he can't breathe...
  2. He's recently always had little "scratches" on his face. They popped up after I introduced live plants and a piece of driftwood to his tank, but he was otherwise happy, healthy and normal. Because he likes to squeeze in close to the driftwood (silly fish), I just assumed they were indeed scratches on his face. Now, looking at pictures of mycobacteria "lesions", I realize those could have been mild lesions on his face.
  3. I actually have had some serious issues with pond snails just dying randomly. Couldn't figure out why! This would explain that entirely...
I am heartbroken. I hate to see my fishy suffer. He's such a little personality.
I also invested a LOT of money into this, for me, a college kid. I'm just sick at that loss as well...



So... I do have some info now. I know I need to put my poor little fishy down. I know I need to also euthanize the shrimp who inhabit the tank. They can't be allowed to spread the disease.



But I still have some questions for y'all:

  • Where can I send Dr. Seuss' body to be tested? How do I even ask for the right testing so I know if he has an aggressive strain of mycobacteria? Or should I even bother and just treat it like it IS mycobacteria because it's so likely?
  • My tank is a Fluval View- expensive and plastic. Can I save it?? Not the filter media, I know, but the tank... It's an $80 tank and if I can save it with reasonable security of NOT striking down another fish, I will. But from just a $$ standpoint, if there isn't really a way to disinfect it safely, it could end up costing me much much more money to keep it.
  • My plants... My precious, beautiful, healthy plants... I'm almost 100% sure that the mycobacteria came in on those. It was only after that I saw the "scratches" on Dr. Seuss' face. Can I disinfect them with reasonable security? I saw someone say she was wiping them down with TB disinfectant... The Barbicide Plus? I don't actually have that many plants, the View is a small tank. They just cost me so. much. money. And they are so healthy!
I think that's all for now... Excuse me while I go prepare to put my poor baby down... This is such a sad day. :cry:
 

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Hi Lady Courage. I'm so sorry to hear about your fish and your shrimp.

I've never euthanized shrimp before but I know that they are extremely sensitive to copper. Coppersafe might work. I'm not sure if shrimp can carry myco or not though.

For disinfecting the tank, I would contact Coppermoon. She will have the info you need on what will and won't disinfect myco and what can be saved and what can't.

View Profile: Coppermoon
 

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If you are able to confirm its Mycos I think it is a good idea to euthanize the shrimp. I know that Basement Bettas disinfects absolutely everything that the water comes in contact with. Even if the shrimp aren't affected by Mycos, they would still infect a new tank, probably (in a similar way to how sharing equipment would).

However, disinfectant could be used on equipment but not on the shrimp, obviously.

Mycos is such a horrible bacteria. I'm deathly afraid of ever seeing it in my tanks, especially with all the money I've put into fish keeping. And I know that that's not even a fraction if what breeders have put into it.
 

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This is a very interesting thread. My local Petsmart has a suspicious amount of betta deaths. All of them died the same way since December 2012. They all had curved spines, red gills, and pale bodies. Every time I went back I thought it was the same fish and they hadn't disposed of them in the three weeks I wasn't there...
In Bio we learned that dangerous bacteria is present everywhere, but won't affect you unless your immune system is compromised, such as when the HIV virus infects human and destroys helper T cells. Which eventually causes AIDS allowing rare, but deadly infections to set in. People who have not been infected with HIV are easily able to fight of these infections.
Perhaps it could be some sort of bacteria or virus that compromises the immune system allowing dangerous strains of myco to set in??
 

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DoctorWhoLuver, it is the same with fish. All fish have some amount of bacteria, including mycobacteria, present in their systems at all times. Like HIV, mycobacteria doesn't become a problem unless the fish's immune system becomes stressed and compromised. These stresses typically (but not always) include poor conditions and dirty water.

I am curious though if you have ever seen on of the Petsmart bettas before it died. Some fish will curve up after death so we can't completely attribute curved spines to mycobacteria.
 

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Oh yeah; I wasn't saying it was myco, though I guess I could have been implying it x] it could be anything. But the all the fish where in an upside down u-shape and floating. Most of the dead fish I see are lying or floating, but not in a prominent u-shape. I'm just suspicious of that since all they fish seem lethargic. I haven't actually seen the fish die, just the dead bodies. It's very sad though. :(
 

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[quote-Sakura8]
For disinfecting the tank, I would contact Coppermoon. She will have the info you need on what will and won't disinfect myco and what can be saved and what can't.

View Profile: Coppermoon[/quote]

Thank you Sakura8!

I am almost 100% sure Dr. Seuss has this. I just spent the last few hours reading through the info on these threads, both the original "mystery disease" thread and this one.

The reasons I think this are:

  1. He has all the symptoms of the fast moving mystery disease. Overnight swim bladder infection and massive fin rot. He looks awful, he can't swim, he's gasping as though he can't breathe...
  2. He's recently always had little "scratches" on his face. They popped up after I introduced live plants and a piece of driftwood to his tank, but he was otherwise happy, healthy and normal. Because he likes to squeeze in close to the driftwood (silly fish), I just assumed they were indeed scratches on his face. Now, looking at pictures of mycobacteria "lesions", I realize those could have been mild lesions on his face.
  3. I actually have had some serious issues with pond snails just dying randomly. Couldn't figure out why! This would explain that entirely...
I am heartbroken. I hate to see my fishy suffer. He's such a little personality.
I also invested a LOT of money into this, for me, a college kid. I'm just sick at that loss as well...



So... I do have some info now. I know I need to put my poor little fishy down. I know I need to also euthanize the shrimp who inhabit the tank. They can't be allowed to spread the disease.



But I still have some questions for y'all:

  • Where can I send Dr. Seuss' body to be tested? How do I even ask for the right testing so I know if he has an aggressive strain of mycobacteria? Or should I even bother and just treat it like it IS mycobacteria because it's so likely?
  • My tank is a Fluval View- expensive and plastic. Can I save it?? Not the filter media, I know, but the tank... It's an $80 tank and if I can save it with reasonable security of NOT striking down another fish, I will. But from just a $$ standpoint, if there isn't really a way to disinfect it safely, it could end up costing me much much more money to keep it.
  • My plants... My precious, beautiful, healthy plants... I'm almost 100% sure that the mycobacteria came in on those. It was only after that I saw the "scratches" on Dr. Seuss' face. Can I disinfect them with reasonable security? I saw someone say she was wiping them down with TB disinfectant... The Barbicide Plus? I don't actually have that many plants, the View is a small tank. They just cost me so. much. money. And they are so healthy!
I think that's all for now... Excuse me while I go prepare to put my poor baby down... This is such a sad day. :cry:
The lab I used ONLY does commercial fish. I used to supply my local with all their Betta until they started showing the fin rot, then of course I quit until I could figure out what it was. I don't have the link to the lab, as I am on my work computer, but it is in FL, and most all the links for this are from the lab. They do give links for hobbiest/pet owners that are fish doctors.

Disinfecting your tank. ((PM me WHERE you are in Texas)) I have some cleaner that you can use, but be VERY careful with it...I had it in a cheap spray bottle at full strength and it eventually ate through the plastic. OR you can bleach the tank (after wiping it down very well) for 24 hrs with a heavy bleach solution, then let it set in the Texas sun for about a week or so. Being dry for over a month will kill this...and the UV from the sun aids in it. IF you want some of the cleaner, I can get some to you if you live close enough that we can meet. Just make sure you clean VERY well to rid of residue...keep cleaning with as hot of water as you can stand until you don't smell it any more.
 

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Hi Lady Courage. I'm so sorry to hear about your fish and your shrimp.

I've never euthanized shrimp before but I know that they are extremely sensitive to copper. Coppersafe might work. I'm not sure if shrimp can carry myco or not though.

For disinfecting the tank, I would contact Coppermoon. She will have the info you need on what will and won't disinfect myco and what can be saved and what can't.

View Profile: Coppermoon
Thank you. :) Ah, that's a thought! I was wondering if the clove oil would work too? I don't know, haven't done any research yet. The copper is a reeeeally good idea, thank you!

If you are able to confirm its Mycos I think it is a good idea to euthanize the shrimp. I know that Basement Bettas disinfects absolutely everything that the water comes in contact with. Even if the shrimp aren't affected by Mycos, they would still infect a new tank, probably (in a similar way to how sharing equipment would).

However, disinfectant could be used on equipment but not on the shrimp, obviously.

Mycos is such a horrible bacteria. I'm deathly afraid of ever seeing it in my tanks, especially with all the money I've put into fish keeping. And I know that that's not even a fraction if what breeders have put into it.
Agreed, and thank you. You're right, now that I'm a little less panicked and thinking more clearly, I do want to make sure it is Mycos before I take any drastic steps. But first I need to find someone I can get to test Doc's body... (ugh, sounds so callus! My poor fishy!!)

The lab I used ONLY does commercial fish. I used to supply my local with all their Betta until they started showing the fin rot, then of course I quit until I could figure out what it was. I don't have the link to the lab, as I am on my work computer, but it is in FL, and most all the links for this are from the lab. They do give links for hobbiest/pet owners that are fish doctors.

Disinfecting your tank. ((PM me WHERE you are in Texas)) I have some cleaner that you can use, but be VERY careful with it...I had it in a cheap spray bottle at full strength and it eventually ate through the plastic. OR you can bleach the tank (after wiping it down very well) for 24 hrs with a heavy bleach solution, then let it set in the Texas sun for about a week or so. Being dry for over a month will kill this...and the UV from the sun aids in it. IF you want some of the cleaner, I can get some to you if you live close enough that we can meet. Just make sure you clean VERY well to rid of residue...keep cleaning with as hot of water as you can stand until you don't smell it any more.
Thank you very much Coppermoon!! OK, I'll dig through this thread and find those links.

Did you use the Barbicide Plus thing? We do have a Sally's here, so I think I could snag some. Thank you so much for the offer of giving me some, but I'm starting to think it might be a good idea to have a nice stash of that stuff on hand... I'll PM you my location, but it's possible that gas money would cost as much as buying a full bottle. :p Thank you so much!!


Ugh, this mycos is frightening me! I'm not a hysterical or germaphobic person (far from it), but I am scared by fatal diseases that do not respond to treatment. I know I personally won't get sick, nor my family, but I love my fishies. They are such wonderful little creatures.

So. I'm really hoping it ISN'T mycos. But just in case, I do want to clean everything crazy good, as if it's mycos, no matter what. I also want to send Doc's body in for testing, before I euthanize my shrimp (who are very healthy btw) and ditch my plants.


Also, some new developments have come about in Doc's condition... And I started a new thread about it. I realize it's going to be pretty controversial, but after a surprise improvement, I feel like I have to try this.

Because:

  • I can't know for sure it's mycos until/if he passes
  • I have no other fish
  • We don't know very much about this disease
  • As far as we know it always ends in death anyway...
What do we have to lose? Here's the thread, if you wanna keep up with what's up with Doc.

Despite my taking new steps with different treatment to see if Doc could possibly heal from mycos (I know every fish has always relapsed...), I'm still preparing for the worst. All the odds point towards my needing to put my fishy down and for him to have mycos. So... That's what I'm going to prepare for.


Thank you so much, everyone, for your help and support. I'm pretty stressed out over here, but I can't tell you how much it helps that y'all know what's going on, understand and are ready to help me. I just... I can't even express how grateful I am. So thank you. <3
 
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