dead fish! Help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-04-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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dead fish! Help!

I am having a dilemma with my 29 gallon community tank. Up to this point this tank had been going very well. I aquired 6 marble hatchetfish a couple weeks ago and within a few days 4 had died. The 2 remaining ones are doing quite well and look great BUT I now within three days have lost almost all of my ten neon tetras that I have had for at least 6 months. They are just dying off several a day. I noticed one of the two remaining ones has white cottony stuff on its head like ich. That is the only one that has shown any evidence of any disease before just dying. Do you have any idea what could be happening? Any suggestions for treatment? I now only have 2 young angelfish (that look and act fine), the 2 hatchetfish, 3 three-lined corys and 1 oto cat (I intended to add more otos soon) and a mess of cherry shrimp. This tank is heavily planted and all my water perimeters are fine. I am afraid if this is neon disease I have read about, the entire tank is doomed.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-04-2013, 10:06 PM
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cottony, unfortunately sounds more like columnaris :(
try to quaratine in the future >.< fish store water carries all kinds of nasties :(
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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what treatment is there?
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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This morning, I still have one neon left alive and it shows NO sign if disease, my 2 angels look fine and they both ate, but one is staying to the back of the aquarium which it never has done before. My three cory cats look fine, my 2 marble hatchetfish show no sign of anything. I see outward sign of anything on anything. I did raise the temp in the tank to about 84 degrees (thinking Ich) but then I read that for Columaris, a rise in temp could make things worse.

If I have Columaris in the tank, what is the best treatment? I have read many conflicting and confusing articles on the web. Does Aqua-Pro-Cure work? Should I start treating the tank or wait and see if any other fish show lesions? Again, only ONE neon showed any sign of anything, the rest just died, all within 2-3 days, one or two at a time.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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update on fish - one of the marble hatchetfish has a cloudy looking eye. Any suggestions?? HELP!
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 11:13 AM
Hi grannyfish. I'm sorry to hear about your tank. It sounds like you have either columnaris, which is a bacterial infection, or possibly external parasites. For treatment, I'd suggest using API Furan-2, which you can get at Petsmart. You can also use Jungle Labs Fungus Clear, which you can find at Walmart. When you use the medication, be sure to remove any carbon from your filter.

If your cory cats are fine, you may want to remove them from the tank as some times they can be very sensitive to medications. Not always but enough that if you don't have to medicate them, it would be best not to.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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I went to Petsmart before I read this last post and the person there convinced me to use API Melafix which she swears is wonderful. OK. I came home and treated my tank. Then I started reading info about Melafix and there is completely opposite statements about the stuff - that it is a complete waste of money and that it is snake oil, then people claiming it is wonderful stuff!

Any one tried this stuff???
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-05-2013, 11:34 AM
Melafix is kind of like an antiseptic. It's good to clean out wounds and may help with fin rot but I'm not sure if it will help if you have columnaris. You can certainly try it or, if you haven't opened the bottle, you can return it as well. It's up to you.

EDIT: Your cories may tolerate Melafix better so if you can't or don't want to remove them, Melafix may be a better choice than an antibiotic.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-06-2013, 10:58 PM
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How are things going in your tank? I have columnaris (almost 100% sure) in my 55 gallon tank, and I've had three outbreaks of it. Every time I thought it was gone, it came back, sometimes as much as 3 months later. I take a fish out the second it starts showing signs of illness ( staying by itself, not eating, lethargic ) and treat in a hospital tank with Furan 2 and Kanaplex. Almost every one that I've tried to treat has died. Meds don't seem to help at all. Most of the time it kills quickly (within days) but I've had a few that hung on and looked like crap for a week or two before finally expiring.

Now that the weather is warming up, I was fearing another outbreak, and sure enough, I've lost 5 fish just recently. It seems no fish is immune. I'm not overstocked and do religious 30% water changes weekly. Yet they continue to die, and I think its from two fish I got in the beginning of fish keeping, and didn't quarantine them. I think they brought it in, and now I CANNOT get rid of it. I've thought seriously of breaking the tank down and bleaching everything, but I've heard that sometimes even THIS does not work. Plus, the fish I have remaining could be carriers, thus I'd be contaminating the tank all over again when I put them back in. I'm at a loss, and I feel your pain. This disease is the most horrible, nasty disease imaginable. I hate it! People, believe it when you are told to quarantine. It the best prevention you can practice. One fish with columnaris can render your tank useless forever. I've even read that its present in all tanks naturally, and only strikes when fish are stressed or their immune system is compromised. Seems that the jury is still out on that. But my fish have not been stressed, and so many REALLY healthy ones of mine have died within 2 days of the first signs.

10 gallon- 8 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 female betta.

20 gallonH - 1 Peacock Gudgeon, 2 Skunk Cories, 1 Sparkling Gourami. , one male betta, 2 nerite snails.

55 gallon - 3 Turquoise Rainbows, 1 Boesemani Rainbow, 2 Australian Rainbow, 4 Gold Dust mollies, 1 L. Dorsigera, 2 White Cloud Mountain Minnows, 1 Honey Gourami, 3 Cherry barb, 1 Koi Angelfish, 4 female betta.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-07-2013, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding. I don't know what I am going to do at this point. If this disease is as bad as you are describing, I might as well give up and shut the tank down. If the remaining fish die I think that is what I will do. I gave up saltwater reef tanks years ago because I got sick of all the headaches and I thought freshwater would be much easier - I have had both systems for years in the past, but I have never had an entire tank wiped out so completely and so quickly with no real outward identifiable symptoms.
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