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Re: HELP a disease question!
"by way of Barry Cooper " wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have a disease problem breaking out in one tank and I need help. The
> fish in question are breeder hi fin swords -- third generation aquarium line
> bred and big and nice. This is the parent tank and my entire stock right now.
> The disease looks like one of the protozoa/parasites one sees on pond raised
> livebearers. It started about 2 weeks ago. An old female showed it. It looks
> like very big, clumpy ich on the body and fins. The fin form looks like a
> soft cyst and the body form looks like it breaks out from under the skin. I
> would say they are about 2 - 4 times the size of ich. It progresses slowly
> and never totally covers the fish like ich. It is on one of my younger red
> velvet females -- one I had real hopes for too! I have tried Neosulfex
> (neomyacin and 5 sulfur drugs mix), Livebearer, a formaldyhide, copper
> sulfate and malachite green mix by Aquatronics and flubendazole. Nothing
> seems to stop it. Does anyone have any idea what this is or how to stop it?
Using antibiotics without knowing the pathogen, and without knowing exactly
how much and how long the treatment needs to be, deserves a far stronger
statement than I'm willing to make here.
> The water is moderately hard and alkaline. There are a dozen 5 inch fish
> in a bare 55 with two large potted swordplants, najas, a big box filter, an
> airstone and an Eheim 2226 professional. 75% water changes every week or two
> at the most. Food is live daphnia, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp,
> live baby brine, Hikari micropellets, freeze dried bloodworms, live
> blackworms a few times, live adult brine shrimp, Ocean Nutritition flakes,
> microworms and other flakes. Mostly the meaty foods though. The only fish
> introduced were some fowleri and erhardti corys about 3 or 4 months ago. They
> had been in my tanks for 9 months with other fish and no problem. There are
> some sterbai in there too and have been there for over a year and a half.
> There are snails in the tank. No salt in the water. Temperature is 75F.
> Raising it now to 80F. all other tanks of fish with the same diet are fine --
> killies and swords.
> Let me know what you think as soon as you can.
Remote diagnosis is nearly impossible, but your descriptions strongly indicate
a bacterial infection, and not an external parasite. Raising the temperature
under such circumstances is exactly the wrong thing to do. Keep the fish near
the lower end of their optimum range, to keep oxygen levels up and help their
immune system fight a slower-growing bacterial attack. Heat helps the bacteria
more than the fish, sometimes.
One of the likliest (often somewhat species-specific) bacterium to exhibit
similar symptoms is *Mycobacterium marinum*. If that is what it is, you should
probably sacrifice any fish with obvious lesions, and isolate the tank and
inhabitants from any others you may have. Keep hands out of the water, too. [I
can speak from experience that it is something you don't want to get in a
slight cut or hangnail. The cure is very long, very expensive, and the
discomfort is serious.]
It will not be stopped by the antibiotics you are using, and probably should
be considered incurable in fish, with current technology. Using the wrong
antibiotic merely makes other pathogens resistant so the medicines don't work
when you really need them.
Wright Huntley -- 650 856-4245 -- 879 Clara Dr. Palo Alto CA 94303
Current government regulations give aid and comfort to hijackers. The
Federal Aviation Administration has guaranteed hijackers that no one on
the plane is armed but them. That must be changed. --Walter Williams
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