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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my third time posting. Still not one reply can anyone please just at least give me some ideas to what is happening? 2 days ago, I awoke to my disease free 29 gallon tank with one of my platys (also my first fish :( ) stuck to the filter inlet, my Red Wag looking very similar to the Boesmani, and fin rot on my high fin platy. It is clear that whatever is affecting my other tank has now reached my 29 gallon, even though I tried to be soooo careful. The other tank is now running at 86 degrees with the water lowered 6 inches for the best possible oxygen exchange, a normal dose of salt, and a daily dose of melafix. I have seen improvements with the roselines (about 70%) and the boesmani's fin rot has come to a halt, but if you take a look at the pictures I can not get rid of the bizarre appearance of the scales. The only thing I have done in the 29 gallon is dosed it with melafix since I would never want to use aquarium salt with cories. My first fish, (a blue mickey mouse platy) who was stick to the filter inlet, is his old self again :-D. The other 2 platies have not gotten any worse yet.

Here is a link to my original post. PLEASE, just some feedback or something :-( I don't know what this it and if I should continue what I am doing.....

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/second-time-posting-some-advice-please-481354/
 

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Sorry that you've waited so long for a response. This is a tough one but I'll give it a shot here with what I'd do if it were my tank.

At first I was thinking bacterial infection because of the cloudy patches and fin rot but based on what you've posted and your pictures it looks like your fish are producing excess slime coat in reaction to either one of the parasites that you mentioned or something toxic in the water. There is such a thing as Slime Disease that would be treated with either formalin, copper sulfate or potassium permanganate.

If you don't think it's Slime disease, I would try a broad spectrum bacterial med that covers both gram-positive & gram negative strains.

Do you have a reputable fish store near you that you could bring one of the fish showing the most symptoms to that might help with diagnosis? Obvio better to see the fish over a picture. Having said that, it might stress the fish out more and I would only do that if they didn't react to treatment.

I hope you get to the bottom of this one. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry that you've waited so long for a response. This is a tough one but I'll give it a shot here with what I'd do if it were my tank.

At first I was thinking bacterial infection because of the cloudy patches and fin rot but based on what you've posted and your pictures it looks like your fish are producing excess slime coat in reaction to either one of the parasites that you mentioned or something toxic in the water. There is such a thing as Slime Disease that would be treated with either formalin, copper sulfate or potassium permanganate.

If you don't think it's Slime disease, I would try a broad spectrum bacterial med that covers both gram-positive & gram negative strains.

Do you have a reputable fish store near you that you could bring one of the fish showing the most symptoms to that might help with diagnosis? Obvio better to see the fish over a picture. Having said that, it might stress the fish out more and I would only do that if they didn't react to treatment.

I hope you get to the bottom of this one. Good luck.
:-D Thank you so much for your response! I thought about bringing the fish to a local fish store I occasionally buy my fish from but they are 25 min away. I would be very concerned about stress at that point. The more I look at it, I don't think its slime disease... I thought that at first but it looks more like flaking now than excess secretion. The Melafix and salt seem to have halted the fin rot and scale deterioration, but i'm still not seeing improvement. I think I will try to possibly email the photos to that LFS. I don't want to use medications too strong obviously when I don't need to. I also don't know what to do with my clown loaches since they are symptom free, but are temporarily in a 20 gallon set up I made for them, so I could use salt in the main tank. If I do eventually resolve this issue in the main tank I worry about 2 things: one would be making sure I change the water enough to make any salt concentration left safe for the loaches. The second would be to make sure they are not carriers of this possible bacteria... They are so delicate though, how would I ever be able to ensure that they aren't carriers without shocking them?

I am going to take a pic of my red wag platy is definitely pregnant since she is already giving birth to fry. She is now the only one in the newly infected tank that still doesn't look quite right. I definitely think the Melafix helped somewhat, since my Hi-fin platy's fin rot is already healing. The red wag however, does not really have raised scales per-say but they seem bulge out almost. In addition to that she has developed many black marks on top of her head in the last week or so. I'm not sure if those are what you would call "fish liver spots" or something else.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR GETTING BACK TO ME!:-D:-D:-D

I really appreciate your help!

I will get the pictures of the red wag up within the next hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SO this red wag has been pregnant for MONTHS. But now that it scales are starting to look really rough... it makes me wonder... Not to mention the black lines on his head have gotten at least 3 times bigger this past week...

[/url]20141114_170844 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]20141114_171211 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]20141114_171747 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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Any idea how old that platy is? It doesn't look particularly bad to me. Eyes are bright and scales aren't pineconing. The black coloring on the scales look like pigment changes to me and that will happen sometimes when they're older.

The fact that she's pregnant accounts for her size at the moment. I had red wag females in the past that were perpetually pregnant and they would color up prior to dropping fry or if i fed them a higher protein diet while pregnant.

As for the loaches, I have zero experience but I do know they are sensitive so I'd keep them out of the salted tank until someone with experience chimes in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any idea how old that platy is? It doesn't look particularly bad to me. Eyes are bright and scales aren't pineconing. The black coloring on the scales look like pigment changes to me and that will happen sometimes when they're older.

The fact that she's pregnant accounts for her size at the moment. I had red wag females in the past that were perpetually pregnant and they would color up prior to dropping fry or if i fed them a higher protein diet while pregnant.

As for the loaches, I have zero experience but I do know they are sensitive so I'd keep them out of the salted tank until someone with experience chimes in.
I would say she's a little over a year old. Maybe i'm just a little over-paranoid since I've had such troubles in my other tank. Maybe the melafix is really all I needed in this tank to stop whatever this may be. 3 Days ago I freaked out when I saw sudden fin rot on my high fin platy and seeing my blue platy stuck to the filter inlet. She's 100% better now and the high fin is already healing. But obviously something was going on, I just think maybe it didn't get bad because I caught it early.

I did save two baby platys before this all happened, they are in 2.5 gallon cycled, heated, and filtered container tank right now. I'm wondering if they might have come from the red wag. Although They are both a yellow-orange color much like my "high fin"

I think I will just finish the week of melafix in this tank as well as my rainbowfish tank and evaluate where everything is. If I don't see improvement, perhaps I will consider a stronger medication if a LFS recommends it.

Thanks again for you help! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well tonight I had to make a really hard decision. The first bout of bad news is my other Boesmani has flaking scales MUCH worse than the other one (and the onset of finrot). The second would be that my blood parrot is showing stress spots, the worst I have seen, and finally for about 3 hours I had to watch my boesmani (with the most problems) shimmy, twitch, and lose balance at the top of the tank. Clearly suffering, but physically he never looked worse. But what I noticed is I could not see any gill movement at all, just his mouth, And the gills were sunken in. He completely ignored his pal and just remained near the top of the tank gasping for air. I was so torn because he was clearly not well, but I figured maybe the shimmying would stop or possibly it would tire him out to the point where I would definitely know he was dying. He did attempt to eat, but then just spit it all out.

At this point, I figured euthanization was the right option considering I couldn't sleep seeing him in that condition and after 3 hours, I didn't think things would get better. This was only 2 hours ago btw Its now 5:30am in the morning I am so disgusted and regretting my decision. I have only had to euthanize one other fish before once again because it was late at night, the fish was suffering, and I did not want to wake up to a dead fish in the morning. Last time I used pure vodka on a dwarf gourami and he was gone in less than 5 seconds. I know I should use clove oil but we have never had any. Based on my last experience, I decided to do the same this time around. TERRIBLE MISTAKE!

I really don't want to think too much about it but a long story short the poor guy suffered for more than 15 minutes in a container full of an entire bottle of Grey Goose Vodka. I had a complete anxiety attack it was just awful. Anyway I am hoping tomorrow I can take the fish up to the LFS and hopefully get him examined to see what is affecting all of my other fish. But I am going to get some clove oil ASAP because if I ever have a situation where i feel the need to put the fish down at least I won't have to experience what I did next time. Perhaps I did not take into account the fact that this was a much bigger fish than the last one.

I will keep everyone updated.
 

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Ugh! :( So sorry to hear this. I hope you can figure out a better course of action today. It looked like you were having some success but obvio. that wasn't the case.

Your fish were producing excess slime coat for a reason. See if your LFS can tell if its parasitic or bacterial. Crossing fingers for you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay so I have some updates. Unfortunately, I've had lot of stuff going on so I wasn't able to go to the LFS early this week. I did call them however and ask them if there was anything else I could do. The girl told me that if I still had the fish (which I did) and a good microscope I could preform a a scales scrape and take a gill sample, then take some photos. As squeamish as I am that is what I did. She also had me write down a link to website I could use to possibly identify some bacteria, parasites, and fungus. I really had some inconclusive findings since I forgot to ask the LFS what effect the Vodka may have had on the gills. I also can't explain what the brown substance was coming out of its mouth. I will say though, I highly doubt decomposition took place since he was taken directly from the vodka and put in a container with water and ice cubes, then but in out basement refrigerator set at the coldest setting no more than a day. Plus there was zero smell whatsoever. When you look at the gill pictures please not that they do look shriveled up due to the heat of the microscope light, however that black area was there all along which makes me suspicious. I found nothing from the scale scrapes even at 400x, but as I mentioned earlier the physical appearance of the fish before it began to "lose it" was much better. I did look at the suspicious brown substance under the microscope at 10X and did notice at ton of either cells or fungal spores. you will see that pic below.


WARNING SOME OF THE PICTURES BELOW ARE NOT FOR ANYONE WITH A WEAK STOMACH AND ARE EVEN GROSS FOR ME TO LOOK AT!

Gill Sample, Brain???

[/url]20141117_015527 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Gills under the microscope, Rot????

[/url]gills 1 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Gills Under Microscope

[/url]Gills 2 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Odd Brown Substance coming out of mouth

[/url]unknown by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Odd Brown Substance under microscope. Sorry for blurriness. This is at 10x. 400x was too blurry for camera...

[/url]20141117_013718 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]


Because of my schedule I was only able to take my pictures to a local "brand store" Which does have a very knowledgeable aquatics department head who I was able to speak with. another employee and herself looked at it and were very confident that it was fungus. She recommended API Fungus Cure Which has been in my tanks now for about 36 hours. Interestingly almost immediately within 2 hours all of my fish with the exception of the now even sicker Boesmani Rainbow perked up and began to act much more energized and have begun showing their colors again. I was told the this fungal cure also can cure some bacteria as well. Since my 29 gallon tank had 3 platiies in there too with some fin rot and sudden formation of crusty lips. I took the 6 cories out of the tank and put them in with the loaches. I managed to obtain a 35 gallon storage bin so they are not stressed. The problem is once again I don't know what to do with them if treatment is successful especially if they are carriers. A for the remaining male boesmani, I believe he's gotten worse. I had some new pics. I also have a video of what he has been doing for 3 days now. He has stayed in the water stream swimming a little weaker each day. I'm not sure if he's going to make it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bM2FHFGado
 

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I'll give it a shot. This could be bacterial gill disease, usually caused by Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas (this one is pretty distinct if grow on agar since it gives off a grapefruit like smell), or Aeromonas. Another reason - besides what I think is inflammatory changes in the gill tissue - that I am thinking bacterial is that it responded slightly to melafix, which is a mild antibacterial substance. The behavior in the video seems like gill disease to me, since the fish appears to be swimming in the most oxygenated area of the tank. I'd try treating the tank with a gram-negative antibiotic like kanamycin (shouldn't hurt your gram-positive beneficial bacteria), but let me read over your other post and see if I missed anything.
 

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So, you described the scale issues a lot more in the other thread. I'm still leaning toward a bacterial issue (the bacteria that I listed above can infect any area of the fish - scales, fins, gills, etc.). The excess slime coat, exudate, and fin rot are all similar to a case study I reviewed the other day - those fish ended up having an aeromonas infection. However, some parasites also infect the scales and gills - I'll check into it a bit more. I know you mentioned costia (a protozoan parasite), and this certainly appears similar.....but there is that gelatinous exudate that just looks bacterial to me....
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, you described the scale issues a lot more in the other thread. I'm still leaning toward a bacterial issue (the bacteria that I listed above can infect any area of the fish - scales, fins, gills, etc.). The excess slime coat, exudate, and fin rot are all similar to a case study I reviewed the other day - those fish ended up having an aeromonas infection. However, some parasites also infect the scales and gills - I'll check into it a bit more. I know you mentioned costia (a protozoan parasite), and this certainly appears similar.....but there is that gelatinous exudate that just looks bacterial to me....
Thanks so much for reading through my painfully long posts! I will look up aeromonas infections. The API Fungus Cure I am currently using seems to have an active ingredient known as Acriflavine which I have read can treat some bacterial infections as well as parasites. Do you think I should choose a better course of action? I guess at this point I am also really worried about my cories and Loaches since they remain in make shift tank, not showing any symptoms but I'm worried maybe they might be the next victims.
 

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That's a tough one. Acriflavine is an antibacterial agent, so it may help with this issue if in fact it is bacterial. I have a few questions for you: first, what magnification were those gill pictures? Also, did you manage to get a scale scraping from the body? That would help to rule out a parasitic infection. Also, do the fish still exhibit the white slimy threads protruding from the scales? If so, can you tell that it is just slime with certainty? As for the mouth exudate (which is one of the main factors I was thinking bacterial), did it come out of the mouth (like it was regurgitated) or was the tissue surrounding the mouth actually liquified (this was my first impression but I didn't see it in person and wouldn't want to recommend a treatment course without this info)?

So, IF you are fairly certain that you are not dealing with parasites and IF that exudate was in fact tissue liquifaction, then I'd be leaning toward a gram-negative bacterial infection. The combination of kanamycin and nitrofurazone is a very good treatment for stubborn gram-negative bacterial diseases such as columnaris and may work well in your situation. The fungus cure certainly won't hurt until we can more definitively ID the causative organism though, but I'm not really convinced that you are dealing with a fungal infection and in that case, most of the ingredients in this med will be useless.

IF, however, the exudate is just regurgitation from the digestive tract and the fish are obviously flashing, then you may be dealing with parasites. I'd highly recommend a scale scraping if you can get one (I'm not sure if you still have the body of the other fish). If not, then you may want to consider an antiparasitic and antibacterial combined treatment to try and cover both bases. Here is a great link on parasitic diseases: Parasitic Diseases of the Fish
If you get a scraping, you can easily google image any of these parasites and see how to ID them. Since you are seeing the fish in person, you are the best judge of whether you think parasites are involved....let me know what you are thinking.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's a tough one. Acriflavine is an antibacterial agent, so it may help with this issue if in fact it is bacterial. I have a few questions for you: first, what magnification were those gill pictures? Also, did you manage to get a scale scraping from the body? That would help to rule out a parasitic infection. Also, do the fish still exhibit the white slimy threads protruding from the scales? If so, can you tell that it is just slime with certainty? As for the mouth exudate (which is one of the main factors I was thinking bacterial), did it come out of the mouth (like it was regurgitated) or was the tissue surrounding the mouth actually liquified (this was my first impression but I didn't see it in person and wouldn't want to recommend a treatment course without this info)?

So, IF you are fairly certain that you are not dealing with parasites and IF that exudate was in fact tissue liquifaction, then I'd be leaning toward a gram-negative bacterial infection. The combination of kanamycin and nitrofurazone is a very good treatment for stubborn gram-negative bacterial diseases such as columnaris and may work well in your situation. The fungus cure certainly won't hurt until we can more definitively ID the causative organism though, but I'm not really convinced that you are dealing with a fungal infection and in that case, most of the ingredients in this med will be useless.

IF, however, the exudate is just regurgitation from the digestive tract and the fish are obviously flashing, then you may be dealing with parasites. I'd highly recommend a scale scraping if you can get one (I'm not sure if you still have the body of the other fish). If not, then you may want to consider an antiparasitic and antibacterial combined treatment to try and cover both bases. Here is a great link on parasitic diseases: Parasitic Diseases of the Fish
If you get a scraping, you can easily google image any of these parasites and see how to ID them. Since you are seeing the fish in person, you are the best judge of whether you think parasites are involved....let me know what you are thinking.

Thank you so much for your help, you seem to know so much more than the people at the closest LFS I went to, plus they are either really nice but don't know much or they are experts but are rather condescending and rude. I did get one really good guy though who looked at my situation thoroughly and said it was a tough call. But he was leaning much more towards bacteria. His course of treatment was to go with Furan-2 just because it would be safe in a half dose for the cories and loaches. I put the Furan-2 in my tanks 2 nights ago. Last night I questioned whether I should add more as the packet suggests. I have not done so yet since last night my remaining Boesmani was doing terrible. He was very pale, still jumpy, but did not have any interest in eating. I know it was only 24 hours having the furan-2 in there but I just saw him get worse. He could barely move his pectoral fins. I ultimately euthanized him this time using liquid Benzocaine as a sedative (which is the agent in orajel). Clove oil is so hard to find! Then I used the Vodka to ensure he was gone. He just gently drifted off with the benzocaine. I did check him out as well.

I did a scale scrape on both fish and could not find any of those parasites that were located on that link. Thanks by the way! But what I did notice with this guy who I believe may have had the disease a while before I really noticed him, is the patch where It looked like strings off slime were coming out of the scales became much more of a white film right before his death. During the "Necropsy", I noticed when I pulled him out of the water It was nearly impossible to see this film. As soon as I dipped him back it it would become visible again. when I began scraping it off it began getting extremely sticky and even stringy like drying glue. Under the microscope it was simply clear with many bubbles. Unfortunately I can't see anything under 400X anymore. The lens is blurry for some reason so I can only go to 10X now. I wish I had a better one. This time around the gills were also very slimy, Under the microscope they were tan looking in contrast to the brown/black last time. I really think this fish was struggling for air due to an overproduction of slime.

So this morning I woke up even more confused. My male Banded Goyder River Rainbow, now has some strings (about 5mm or so) extending from the underside of his pectoral fin right from his body outward. In the tank with my catfish, one of my Albino cories whom I thought was initially carrying eggs now almost looks over-bloated. I am so confused.:-? I will post pics soon. Thanks!
 

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Can the cories and loaches be moved so you can treat them at half strength and then dose the remaining fish at full strength of recommended dose?

Add an airstone if you can to keep the water super oxygenated while treating and I'd do frequent water changes while all this is going on.

I feel for you. I love my Boesmanis and would be heartbroken if I had to euthanize them :(
 
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Can the cories and loaches be moved so you can treat them at half strength and then dose the remaining fish at full strength of recommended dose?

Add an airstone if you can to keep the water super oxygenated while treating and I'd do frequent water changes while all this is going on.

I feel for you. I love my Boesmanis and would be heartbroken if I had to euthanize them :(
These are some very good ideas.

When I think strings hanging off the fish, I'm usually thinking flukes of some sort, but they could also just be excess slime coat. Perhaps take a look at some pictures online and see if they look similar to anything....although if this were a severe fluke infection I would think you would have seen something under the scope....

If we are still going with bacterial, I think you definitely have some systemic involvement here. Superficial infections will erode the outer tissues but shouldn't cause death this quickly; plus the bloating in the cory (if not just eggs) signals something internal. Furan-2 (active ingredient nitrofurazone) is a great med for topical infections but is not skin-absorbed so will not treat anything systemic. Kanamycin (Kanaplex), triple sulfa, and to some extent minocycline (Maracyn II) (this one has slightly less activity against gram-negative pathogens) will absorb through the skin and may be more useful here. Actually, for some really stubborn infections you can combine Furan-2 with kanamycin (not the others) to get a synergistic effect (basically the net effect is greater than the effect of each medication added together; a 1+1 = 3 deal).

I'm not particularly experienced treating cories or loaches, but if they need lower dosages of meds, I'd definitely try separating them as Romad suggested and give everyone else a full dose. There is always a fine line between helping and harming when using any pharmaceuticals, but given the high losses that you are experiencing, I'd say that any possible side-effects from using the medications are worth the risk. I'm just sorry that you have to go through this with all your fish :-(. It's obvious that you care very much about them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Can the cories and loaches be moved so you can treat them at half strength and then dose the remaining fish at full strength of recommended dose?

Add an airstone if you can to keep the water super oxygenated while treating and I'd do frequent water changes while all this is going on.

I feel for you. I love my Boesmanis and would be heartbroken if I had to euthanize them :(
Thanks for your ongoing help :) The bosemanis were the prettiest rainbows in my tanks so it was very sad it had to affect those fish. I'm not sure if I already mentioned but the Loaches and Cories are already in a different tank (30 gallon storage bin), so thankfully I have been able to use salt and the full dosage of medications. I have 2 large airstones in both tanks and the water levels have been lowered at least 4 inches to help with the gas exchange so the output of the canister filters create a good splash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
These are some very good ideas.

When I think strings hanging off the fish, I'm usually thinking flukes of some sort, but they could also just be excess slime coat. Perhaps take a look at some pictures online and see if they look similar to anything....although if this were a severe fluke infection I would think you would have seen something under the scope....

If we are still going with bacterial, I think you definitely have some systemic involvement here. Superficial infections will erode the outer tissues but shouldn't cause death this quickly; plus the bloating in the cory (if not just eggs) signals something internal. Furan-2 (active ingredient nitrofurazone) is a great med for topical infections but is not skin-absorbed so will not treat anything systemic. Kanamycin (Kanaplex), triple sulfa, and to some extent minocycline (Maracyn II) (this one has slightly less activity against gram-negative pathogens) will absorb through the skin and may be more useful here. Actually, for some really stubborn infections you can combine Furan-2 with kanamycin (not the others) to get a synergistic effect (basically the net effect is greater than the effect of each medication added together; a 1+1 = 3 deal).

I'm not particularly experienced treating cories or loaches, but if they need lower dosages of meds, I'd definitely try separating them as Romad suggested and give everyone else a full dose. There is always a fine line between helping and harming when using any pharmaceuticals, but given the high losses that you are experiencing, I'd say that any possible side-effects from using the medications are worth the risk. I'm just sorry that you have to go through this with all your fish :-(. It's obvious that you care very much about them.
I just though I would give an update. I have continued with the Furan-2 and a day later, the stringy white thing under the pectoral fin of the Banded goyder river rainbow has fallen off :). I'm still going to remain VERY CAUTIOUSLY optimistic, but for the first time in about 2 weeks, the fish in the 56 gallon tank are showing a lot more energy and color than they have been. The mouths remain crusty on the platies in my 29 gallon tank, but I feel like they have perked up a little bit too (their fins are not clamping as much). Also instead of acting listless they are back to pecking every inch of the tank looking for food as normal. I am not making any predictions yet but I almost want to say things MIGHT be getting better. Thanks for the help again, I will keep everyone posted.

As far as my tank with the loaches and cories, I have only done one half dose of furan-2 with melafix since those fish seem to be healthy still with the exception of the albino cory. I just want to be really easy on those fish since they are delicate. I don't have great lighting in that tank but I'll try to take a photo of that cory to see if you might thing its just carrying eggs, or perhaps something else.... THANKS :-D
 

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That's great to hear! I'm glad you updated us - I am really rooting for you and your fish!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
That's great to hear! I'm glad you updated us - I am really rooting for you and your fish!!
Thanks! Well I finished the 4th and final Furan-2 treatment yesterday, preformed a 25% water change in both tanks and have added carbon to remove the chemicals. Every fish in the 56 gallon tank is 100% better :-D All of my Platies in the 29 gallon tank are 100% except for the high-fin. Her mouth still has a little bit of the crusty, dry look. It looks like the fin rot has definitely stopped though. Its just hard to tell if it is healing since regrowth takes a while. The Albino cory in my temporary tank looks about the same, but I will have to continue to keep an eye on it. I think right now, I'm definitely going to stall any more treatment for 2-3 days and see if I am in the clear. I will also continue removing the remaining Furan-2 and monitor closely. If something comes back, I will probably try something you mentioned above (likely Triple Sulfa) that targets systemic infections. Now its a waiting game... Keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks so much for you time, help and support! :-D
 
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