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Re: True fungus's etc.
Well, RJ, you asked some tough ones, but there are answers available, mostly
all in one place.
There's a wonderful book, by a less-than-wonderful publisher that can settle
all of the below. It is sort of expensive and only needed once in a while,
so local clubs should get one for the library, and arrange to emergency loan
it as needed.
The book is Untergasser's _Handbook of Fish Diseases_, TFH.
Fungus only attacks dead tissue in fish. They are otherwise remarkably
resistant to it as a direct infection. It's a common follower of a *Costia*
or *Oodimium* (Velvet) infection that never gets severe enough to dust the
skin. Microscopic examination, particularly of gills, is needed to tell
AFAIK, fungus is *always* a secondary infection, and never harms an
unwounded fish or fertile egg. "Cottonmouth" (Columnaris) can look very
fungus-like but is a true bacterium. The closest to a fungus that I know
attacking fish is *Mycobacterium marinum* or fish TB. The "myco" part of the
name is in reference to the fungus-like behaviour of that genus of
[BTW, my infection with this nasty is healing well, but oh, so slowly. The
Dr. will let me stop the $6ea twice-a-day pills in another 5 weeks and see
if we got it all. My finger is still purple, but the swelling is nearly
gone, lesions well healed, and swollen arm lymph nodes back to normal size.
Some may remember that my bout with this bug started way last August!]
You will learn from Untergasser that most LFS antibiotics are worse than
worthless, and, IMO, they can be downright harmful. I never find reason to
treat any fish in a way that harms snails. [I wish I *had* an easy way to
get them out of breeding tanks, for they tend to eat eggs, at least freshly
laid ones. Tear down and start over is my only recourse.] Really severe
treatments *must* be done in a bare hospital container for full
To reduce bacterial infection on fresh eggs, until the chorion is fully
hardened, I like an equal mix of methylene blue and acriflavin, made so
dilute the pale green is barely visible. It seems to work better than a
stronger dose of either, alone. I then change most of the water the next day
to stop the tanning action that the dyes can have, apparently making the
eggs too hard to hatch.
There are unusual exceptions to any rule, but snails don't harbor fish
diseases any more than blackworms or tubifex do. Leaving a tank without fish
for a couple of days will remove most bacterial fish pathogens, and elevated
temperature (80s) for about 10 days will remove the worst parasites, like
oodimium and Ich, usually. A few egg-eating inverts may survive, like
snails, planaria or hydra, but just about nothing that attacks fish
directly. Vacuum out any mulm to remove the last source of bugs or their
Malachite Green is an analine dye, that, despite the name, contains no
copper. If mixed with formaldehyde, I would avoid it. Formaldehyde,
particularly the weak form sold at the LFS, is pretty unstable in storage,
and breaks down into potentially nasty stuff. Mixed with organics, like
dyes, the byproducts could be unusually carcinogenic. I buy only the
drug-store 37% formaldehyde (sometimes sold under the brand name
"Formalin"), and store in a cool stable place. If it shows any white
precipitate, I toss it and buy fresh. Use carefully, as it is a known
carcinogen, I think, by itself.
Last, but not least, your Notho "fadeaway" problem just might be fish
tuberculosis. That's often its only symptom -- slow fading and wasting. Some
fish show lesions, but most, IME, do not. A microscopic examination of very
fresh scrapings is needed for diagnosis, as I recall. The stuff is attuned
to body conditions so really resists "in vitro" culturing. Check Untergasser
on that one.
Bottom line, keep your hands out of their water if you have the slightest
cut, hangnail or scrape. BTDTBTWW!
> Hi Folks:
> Years ago life seemed to be easier. Aquari-sol, Chloramphenichol HCL(Sp?)and
> E.M. Cured just about everything. Now Aqiari-sol kills snails,
> Chloramphenichol HCL(Sp?) is harder to come by than four legged chickens and
> E.M. doesn't seem to cure anything anymore. (I never kept snails in the
> past.) I suddenly find myself wantonly lacking in veterinary skills, when it
> comes to killifish. I would therefore like to pose a few questions to you
> in an effort to get up to speed. I hate to take you away from your water
> changes, but I believe that the stupidest question is the one I don't ask.
> Question 1:
> I have recently lost a few A. Celiae Celiae to a true fungus. These fish
> have a habit of hiding in the Java Moss so I missed the onset I assume that
> it happened during a time period when the heaters were unplugged after a
> water change and the temperature dropped into the low sixties. The fish
> took weeks to die. To make matters worse the fungus coincided with a velvet
> outbreak. This was also no doubt brought on by the cold. I dealt with the
> velvet originally with Acrifalvine and then with aquarium salt upon
> reoccurrence about two weeks later. Neither was effective on the fungus.
> When the fungused fish died I thought that I had seen the last of it. But
> as one might anticipate another fish became sick. It developed a patch of
> fungus on one side immediately behind the dorsal fin. I decided to try the
> salt water dip idea someone proposed for advanced velvet. It seems to have
> produced positive results removing the stringy white growth. I am watching
> to see if the fish heals. Never the less I probably should treat the entire
> tank for fungus to totally eradicate the disease. The plant life is
> decimated but there are still few snails which I would hate to kill off
> without cause. During the salt water dip I noticed the white stringy nature
> of the growth causing me to revise my diagnosis to true fungus. I was
> treating the tank with E.M. and kanamycin Sulfate assuming that the disease
> was probably bacterial. Neither was effective except to stress the snails.
> So folks, is there a silver bullet for true fungal infections?
> Question 2:
> I have been keeping fish for a very long time, I usually used larger tanks
> where catfish made the best scavengers. Therefore I have not kept snails for
> at least a couple of decades. For small aquaria, especially where I am
> breeding killies I have not been able to find a better scavenger or algae
> eater than snails. I am beginning to find that they have their shortcomings
> when it comes to treating fish. If I were to remove snails when treating a
> fish tank with something snails can not tolerate how can I prevent
> reintroducing the illness when I return the snails to the original tanks?
> Is this a even a valid concern?
> Question 3:
> In my travels through my basement I found the following chemicals;
> Formaldehyde, Malachite Green, Quinine and methylene blue. I was wondering
> if these products are actually the best course of treatment for anything.
> I tried quinine on salt water Oodinium and Cryptocarion (Sp?)in an effort to
> treat the fish without killing off the inverts. It failed.
> I used methylene blue to prevent egg fungusing. Acriflavine did a much
> better job.
> The formaldehyde is still in its original blister pack so I never used it
> for anything and I am not sure why I bought it.
> The instructions on one of the malachite green bottles indicate that it also
> contains formaldehyde. The bottle claims that it treats Ich. But upon
> reflection I am sure that I don't even know what malachite green is, much
> less what it is really good for. Someone must have recommended it for
> something in salt water years ago.
> In salt water formaldehyde is used in solution with copper sulfate to kill
> Oodinium. I read the thread about killing hydra with Formaldehyde, but
> aside from that does anyone really know what it or any of these products are
> good for in fresh water and at what dosage?
> Question 4:
> I have been reviewing my notes on Notho Fade Away and I have noticed that
> this condition seems to occur much more commonly when the fish are in tanks
> which have more aeration and/or faster currents. Does anyone know what the
> current or dissolved oxygen rate would be in the fish's natural environment?
> Does anyone else feel that the current or amount of dissolved oxygen in the
> water could adversely impact Nothos?
> By the way, my point about new pennies no longer being copper may have been
> valid but I stand corrected about new pennies being an aluminum alloy, this
> was a regrettable restatement of bad information I had received elsewhere, I
> am glad someone took the time to make the appropriate correction.
> Finally I would like to conclude with an observation. After thirty years of
> keeping fish the most important thing that I have learned is that to know
> one thing comes with the price of also knowing that you no longer know
> something else for sure.
> I am grateful for the benefit of your experience. Thanks in advance for your
> Best regards,
> Shop online without a credit card
> RocketCash, a NetZero subsidiary
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Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
Quit bashing Microsoft. They do very good things. They
hire the handicapped -- for example, utter morons
to compose all error messages.
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