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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I left a message in Fish Diseases about my Harlequin Molly who has a cottony growth on her side, and I need help with recognizing the disease and how to treat it. I have added Jungle Fungus Clear last night which has antibiotic in it, Furan I think. Will this help her, she is my favorite Molly and I want to save her, please!? Any help would be appreciated, if you are looking at messages, please look at mine.
 

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I'm neither a mod or a vet and I never had to treat a cottony growth on a fish.
However, I read (like everybody else but I only remember what makes sense) that for external infections (bacterial or fungi), local applications of antibacterial solution (like Hydrogen peroxide or Methylene Blue) could do the trick without having to treat the whole tank. Dip a Q-tip in Jungle Fungus Clear. Net the fish and swab the area with the Q-tip. It shouldn't take more than 3 seconds. You probably need to repeat treatment.
Good luck
 

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Dancelady - I'm sorry you're dealing with an infection (ugh!). Can you give more details and is there any way to upload a picture or two?

I'd be willing to bet that it's a bacterial infection since they're far more common than true fungal infections. The fuzziness could be secondary infection.

What are your water parameters? What is your water change schedule and how often do you change the water. Are there any other symptoms? Is this the only fish with symptoms??
 
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Most likely columnaris, as stated the secondary fungal issue is common with this as well as many other bacterial issues. I see you have a 3 gallon quar tank in your sig, this is a good thing. Pick up some Maracyn & Maracyn II, redose daily after a 50% water change for 10-14 days. This is the starting point for most all bacterial issues, there are other options beyond these if they don't seem to be working. As stated, a few more details will help, a nice list of what would help folks with this diagnosis can be found here; http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/diagnosis-form-read-before-you-post-61135/
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for responding, I really don't want to lose this Molly, she will have babies soon, and they should be awesome. I moved her to the QT 5G tank, where I removed the charcoal and put one dose of Jungle Fungus Clear in there about 32 hrs ago. It says to dose her again in 4 days. Meanwhile, I have gotten some pictures of her and will upload them, they show the patch on her side. I feel that this problem came from the Sailfin male constantly bothering her, and occasionally nipping at her side when she tried to get away. No one else in the community tank was affected. She is the only one with this infection, and the most lovely of the females, that this male really liked. I didn't post water parameters because she is in a new tank. That one has been going for maybe 2 weeks with a Balloon Belly female in there to start the cycling. I left a bubbler in there, with some BioMax next to it. I took the inside filter out, because it is a very old one, I will put it back with no carbon. The Jungle Fungus Clear has Furan in it and you can see the other ingredients in the Fish Diseases posting -- to treat both bacterial and fungus infections. She probably has both now... she is very antsy, hard to get a good picture of her. Does Maracyn & Maracyn II have the same ingredients, or similar? I don't want to overdose her. She is big, appx. 4 inches and had her about 5 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pix of Molly & infection

Here are a few pix, note it is not as frothy as it really is, doesn't show up as well in the photographs. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have been reading up on Columnaris...

Here is what documents say: "crowded conditions (often in re-circulating systems), aggressive inhabitants, poor handling, poor Redox Balance, sudden temperature spikes (or prolonged temperatures much above 80F), and the stress from high bio loads are all conditions that can allow for an opportunistic Columnaris infection. Abrasion from nets, transport, crowding, aggression by tank mates, and adverse water quality conditions (such as lack of necessary electrolytes/minerals) create a situation which is very conducive to Columnaris outbreaks. With this in mind; lowering stress (such as removing an aggressive inhabitant), improving minerals/electrolytes, and keeping a clean well filtered aquarium are first steps in treating or preventing Columnaris." These are recommended to treat Columnaris:
*Furan 2, Nitrofurazone; from AAP
*Kanamycin,; Kanaplex from AAP

As well as the above noted baths, direct applications of Methylene Blue, Hydrogen Peroxide or Diluted Potassium Permanganate to external areas of infection can help with recovery and may be your only chance to check the spread of a more serious infection of Columnaris.

Reference: Aquarium Medications 3, Hydrogen Peroxide

So I will use the medication I have, plus getting the Methylene Blue, and performing the direct baths to help treat this infection. It also says that Melafix will not work. I will see if I can get the Wonder shells to add to my aquariums.

If you have any details to add, please give me this advice, you all are the best help that a person can have.
 

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Medications that treat gram negative bacterias are your best bet so any of the Furan, Triple Sulfas, etc... will be best.

Be sure to keep the water pristine and feed a good variety of food. Some say high protein diet is a good idea (brine shrimp, bloodworms) but I don't know if that makes a real difference. As long as she's getting a good quality food you should be ok.

Crossing fingers that she heals quickly. She really is pretty :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Romad, where do you shop in NH?

Since you are somewhere near me, I wonder where you go to find fish and supplies here in NH? I have to buy some more medication, filters, and such, so looking for a good place to go. What do you recommend?
 

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Im in Southern NH so for livestock, Zoo Creatures in Plaistow NH has a pretty good selection. They've also beefed up their FW live plants recently so have a pretty great selection now.

For bettas, Petco in Plaistow has an outstanding collection (go figure) but not so much of anything else. Typical chain store fare.

I buy all of my meds and equipment on Amazon or through Drs. Foster & Smith. Once in a great while I've scored on ebay too.

I've got every med under the sun on hand but I typically never end up using them (luckily) so they expire after a few years but I like to have them because I tend to be overly cautious. Can't depend on the chain stores to have what I might need at any given time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Treated one place, now another one shows up

I asked about the cottony growth on the side of the female Molly, and was advised to treat her as if a fungal/bacterial growth. My dose was Jungle Fungus Clear, in a 5 Gal tank, with no carbon in the filter. This has Furan in it and a few other good things. After 2 doses, 4 days apart, it started to disappear.

I was happy about this, and about to put her back in the main community tank, but looking closer, now she has a growth on her head, between her eyes and her mouth. It too looks like the other growth, so back at the Furan again. It was probably a week or more since the 4 days were over. This morning my Methylene Blue arrived (really a long time coming), and KanaPlex. But she was already treated when that MBlue arrived. If using it for a dip, you have to make a solution (from the tab) and dip her no more than 15 seconds. A much stronger solution. So I decided to wait and see how this new growth acts with the Furan.

If anyone has any experience with Methylene Blue as a regular dose in 5 gal, or the KanaPlex, please give me some advice -- should I use either one, how, and as a dose or dip? BTW, the methylene blue stains the aquarium glue, so you can't use it with a glass tank. And the Furan is already a day in, and the third segment. KanaPlex tells to use it for 2 days X as many as 3 doses. It was mentioned to use them both, but I can't find that again in the literature. Is this a wise thing to use them both -- Furan and KanaPlex?
 

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Is the growth still fuzzy? Like you said, this is generally the appearance of a fungal infection but it could also be columnaris (bacterial). Kanaplex will be ineffective against fungi (kanamycin is an antibiotic for susceptible gram negative bacteria), but is generally the drug of choice for columnaris, especially when combined with the antibiotic nitrofurazone (Furan). Jungle parasite clear contains nitrofurazone and furazolidone (antibiotics) and potassium dichromate, an antifungal.

Methylene blue is used for mild fungal infections, but I don't know off the top of my head how well it combines with other medications as I've never used it myself. I'll have a look in the morning if you still have questions.

If this were me, I'd probably continue the course of Fungus clear, as this medication seemed to work in the past and it covers both bacteria (mostly gram negative species, which cause the majority of bacterial disease in fresh water fish) and fungi. Most likely, she just needed a more extended treatment (4 days really is a short course of any medication) to completely eradicate the pathogen. If this doesn't work, or she appears to be worsening at any point during the treatment, then you can worry about the other possible causes of the growth and look into more treatment options.

Hopefully this helps a bit. Here is also a good link to descriptions of the various medications used in fish (and it also mentions the concurrent use of nitrofurazone and kanamycin for columnaris): Aquarium Medications Part 2 | Antibiotic & Antimicrobial Treatments
I also have quite a few more links on my laptop and will post those tomorrow (this is sort of a hobby for me...)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bacterial or Fungal?

I was too quick to show where this problem is, it is on the top of her head, further up from her eyes, not below them and her nose. I didn't give it as much time to develop once I saw it, so although it is about 1/8 inch in diameter, on a 3" fish, it is a whitish area on an orange & black fish. Hard to say if it is cottony yet. I did think that she needed another go at it with the Furan, just to eliminate this. Whether it is bacterial or fungal, it surely doesn't belong there. She has been alone in her QT 5 gal tank, with some bubbles and some BioMax in there. You can see the tint to the water from the Furan. I will keeping watching her, am feeding her well, and hope it disappears, too. She is my favorite Molly, a Harlequin, and I want her to recuperate completely!

If Columnaris, I could also use the KanaPlex, but I don't know how to tell the difference -- bacterial or fungal. So I will look for the additional links you post... I understand some of the treatments, but they don't make it clear how to tell which one it is....?
 

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True fungus by itself is quite rare, columnaris is pretty common. The fungus with columnaris is secondary to the bacterial issue, it is a symptom rather than the actual problem. As Kim mentioned, a more extended treatment is needed, if the furan based meds aren't working it's time to switch to the kanamycin.

One big problem with fish meds is the instructions. Most go something along the lines of a dose every other day for 3 doses, then a water change where antibiotics are concerned. Humans don't get dosed like this, other animals don't get dosed like this, but for some reason folks think this will work with fish. There's a couple reasons for this. The fish antibiotics are available over the counter, and if the instructions stated the best way to use them the casual aquarist would not buy them. For yourself & your doctor, or your dog, cat, or whatever you bring to the vet you will be advised on a more lengthy treatment. You listen to the doc, or vet, they are more well educated on the matter.

If you talk to a vet that specializes in aquatic life they will tell you to medicate for 10-14 days with kanamycin, 50% water change daily & redose. If the casual aquarist read that on the back of a product they grabbed off the shelf of a local shop they'd put it right back. So much for that sale. Rather than spend lots of money on books related to aquatic pharmacology, diagnosis & treatment & so on check out the National Fish Pharmacy site; Fish Disease, Diseases of Fish, Medications & Fish Health Treatments

They have diagnosis as well as treatments, beyond selling the medications. They also have a hotline number, well worth the long distance call for conformation of an ailment and the proper medication of such. I've run up some serious long distance time with them, maybe as much as on books, as it seems we always go off on a tangent loosely or sometimes not at all related to my original inquiry.
 
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Sorry for not posting sooner, but here are some additional links:

Aquarium Medications, Treatments, and How They Work
Cir 84/FA084: Use of Antibiotics in Ornamental Fish Aquaculture
Fish Columnaris | Fungus & Saprolegnia | Treatment & Prevention

The first two deal with antibiotics and their uses, while the last deals with identification of columnaris vs fungal infections and treatment options. I wish I could cite more scientific journal articles (it drives me crazy not to have all academic-type sources of information), but unfortunately it appears that little formal research is conducted for ornamental fish diseases :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now treating her with KanaPlex; male with whitish mouth

I think it isn't responding too well, so I will try the KanaPlex, and see if it does anything different. Figuring out which it is, gram negative or positive is hard to do. So I will see if this works better.

I also have a Sailfin male who seems to have a mouth problem, it is whitish right on the lip of his mouth. It isn't rot (yet), so what could that be? He was in the community tank, but was hiding most of the time. I gave him a new tank by himself for a while. Should I treat him, or let him be happy alone for a while?
 
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