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Re: driftwood maintenance?and fish disease question

> I do have one fish related question. Is there a disease that fish get that 
> turns them into humpbacks and then they die?  Over several months I have seen 
> this happen to a few fish (most are very healthy) -- they almost look like 
> they are starving, but I don't think that is it.  They turn into upside-down 
> "U's".  No outside lesions or wierd behavior.  This seems to mostly have 
> taken out my platies, but also a harlequin raspbora that I have had for over 
> a year.  Any ideas?  Poor quality stock maybe?
> Thanks, 
> Catherine

Mycobacteriosis, a.k.a. "fish T.B. (tuberculosis)".  I don't think there is
any treatment for it, and livebearers seem particularly susceptible. 
Generally it stays lurking dormant in your tank, taking out an occasional
infrequent guppy or platty, and if your fish get stressed somehow they get
sick and die.

Remove any sick fish at that "humpback" stage and destroy them to prevent
other fish in the tank from eating it when it dies and falls down behind
some plant where you don't notice.

If anyone knows of a good treatment short of tearing down and sterilizing
the tank, destroying all the plants, and starting over, I would really like
to know.  My aquarium has been infected with it for years -- I think it
came from some snails I bought at the LFS.  I tried a powerful dose of
oxytetracycline (used to treat mycobacteriosis in chickens) for about a
week once but apparently it doesn't kill the bacteria if they are dormant. 
It did stain everything an interesting shade of yellow.

Best regards,