View Full Version : Telling The Difference - White Fuzz
03-02-2006, 10:19 AM
How do you tell the difference between fungus, columnaris, and fin rot? And how do you treat them? I thought my rams had ich but on closer inspection it looked a little fuzzier. One ram its along the edge of the tail and on the other ram its in spots across the length of the tail (fuzzier not grainy like ich). One rummy looks like its little fin (on top, closest to the tail) looks completely fuzzy. They have just been added and are stressed from an ich treatment currently. The rams exhibited this a couple days after I got them and the rummy has had it since I added him.
03-02-2006, 10:47 AM
How do you tell the difference between fungus, columnaris, and fin rot?
Fungus is actually pretty rare in the aquarium. What most people call fungus is usually columnaris or "just" a bacterial infection. Actual fungus looks just like mold you see on bread or something left to die in the fridge.
Pandora's Aquarium has a lot of great pictures of difference types of diseases:
And how do you treat them? I thought my rams had ich but on closer inspection it looked a little fuzzier. One ram its along the edge of the tail and on the other ram its in spots across the length of the tail (fuzzier not grainy like ich). One rummy looks like its little fin (on top, closest to the tail) looks completely fuzzy. They have just been added and are stressed from an ich treatment currently. The rams exhibited this a couple days after I got them and the rummy has had it since I added him.Sounds more like a bacterial infection. They could have fin rot and fungus at the same time.
Would need pictures, though.
03-02-2006, 10:51 AM
Ok I'll try. Even with help my underwater picture taking is pretty crappy. I"ll have to wait until I get home though.
03-02-2006, 10:54 AM
I would treat with both Maracyn and Maracyn 2 simultaneously.
I know it is difficult treating several diseases all at once.
The last time something like this happenned, I had a couple spots of ick appear on a single new fish that I stupidly did not quarrantine long enough. Then the fuzz started. I treated with salt, heat, maracyn, and maracyn 2 simultaneously and managed to save everything but my sensitive marble hatchetfish.
Really bummed me out because I had kept the hatchets for a LONG time and was particularly proud that I kept my water conditions suitable for them without incident for so long.
03-02-2006, 10:57 AM
I don't think any of the pictures of columnaris show it very well so its hard to tell. But the description:
"Various: lethargy, hiding behavior, "hanging""
Sounds very much like the male, which is opposite the behavior of the other male ram. The female dosen't show this as bad, nor does the rummy.
Do I have to know exactly what it is to treat it? Or is there something general that will help? Would the salt treatment I'm doing help or just cause more stress? Maybe it will clear up when the salt clears out?
03-02-2006, 10:58 AM
I would treat with both Maracyn and Maracyn 2 simultaneously.
Ok. I'll read up on that stuff. Is it very toxic to other fish that don't have it? :sick:
Is this something I can pick up at the pet store? Is there a brand I should look for?
Are there any "dips" that would work?
03-02-2006, 11:03 AM
Maracyn and Maracyn 2 are both different kinds of antibiotics. I'll go get my packages and see what they are because I can't remember.
maracyn is erythromycin: fin and tail rot, popeye, and "body fungus" (Columnaris)
maracyn 2 is minocycline: Septicemia, fin and tail rot, dropsy, popeye, gill disease
They sure weren't cheap though.
03-02-2006, 11:07 AM
Is it safe to use during the salt treatment?
03-02-2006, 11:13 AM
Well, I did use it with salt treatment. I felt I had no choice because my fish had both serious ick and bacterial infections.
I had a wide range of fish in there, and all survived except for the marble hatchetfish. Considering that hatchets are incredibly delicate and sensitive, I think that I did very well.
Note: using antibiotics will also affect your cycle, so it can be risky no matter what you do. . . :huh:
I really feel for you, especially as I have watched how excited you have been and how thoroughly you have researched and planned your aquarium.
Don't get too upset over it though. The hardest part of fishkeeping is getting your little aquatic ecosystem in balance. We struggled our first 6 months, but eventually your aquarium will find a balance and will become very stable.
03-02-2006, 11:22 AM
Oh boy. The cycle is technically finished but it might hurt my bacteria? I do have plants in there now so they are doing pretty good to help I think (well they are absorbing my nitrates to lower than my tap plus whatever is produced from the fish).
Should I get some carbon for when I'm finished with the treatment? I might make a seperate thread on this but... is it ok to use a different brand of media in a canister? Carbon is carbon right? As far as I know no one carries Eheim stuff around here...
Yah this is all pretty frustrating :( . The good thing is my 2 healthy rams are about to spawn. They have paired off (so quickly!!) and over the last couple days they have been busy digging a whole in the substrate. Of course maybe the medication could impact this.
I lost a frog the other day. Its hard to tell if it was the salt/heat or if it was just the move. He had turned really white and one day he was no longer alive. My other 2 frogs are doing fine though they are slower than normal, I think they are stressed out, or they are settling in. I'm so new to this and have thrown so many extra variables into the mix. I guess I don't know what normal froggy behavior is.
The reason I was asking about dips is because if I could keep the stuff out of the tank that would make me feel better.
03-02-2006, 12:09 PM
Is it necessary to treat with both maracyn and maracyn 2? Could I just start with one and see how it goes? Also how will this effect my shrimp? Would it be better for me to just move the effected fish to a new tank? I could buy one if it was really necessary... I'm scared of losing any more fish.
I took this quote from http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/columnaris_disease.php
It refers to using salt to cure discus from columnaris. It should apply to your fish as well.
In Davis’ example, the treatment referred to, was the application of a series of salt dips, coupled with in tank temperatures of 35oC, large daily water changes using fresh conditioned water, and scrupulous tank hygiene. Below, I list a couple of methods that I have used and that have worked for me and others I have visited. If you choose to use the examples – do so with great care – remember, the onus is on you to make judgements regarding appropriate treatment and the current condition and status of your fish and tanks – if you are unsure, nervous or need help, please ask, or seek professional advice.
Discus Salt Dip Methodology
Type of salt to use:
The type of salt used should be non-iodized and contain no ‘free flow’ or other additives (e.g. no iodine or sodium ferrocyanide etc. I have used ‘Freshwater Aquarium Salt’, rock salt and sea salt. If purchasing non-aquarium salt please read the packaging carefully as current trends show an increase in the use of additives even in natural products such as rock salt (UK).
If new to Salt Dipping
If new to dipping fish a good place to start would be with a 1.5-2% salt solution; for more experienced users I would suggest you start with a 3% solution immediately. The solution should be made up in a clean bucket or spare (fishless) tank. Whilst it is preferable to weigh out the correct amount of salt e.g. for a 2% solution one would use 20g of salt per litre of water, the following approximate measure are given for the sake of simplicity.
1 TABLESPOON of salt approximates to 15grams.
Therefore 1 TABLESPOON of salt per litre of water equates to a 1.5% solution
Worked examples (See Table 1 for other strengths):
· If your bucket/tank contains 10 litres of water you would add 13 tablespoons of salt to get an approximate 2% salt solution
· Or - If you place 3 US gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket you would add 14½ tablespoons of salt - to get an approximate 2% solution.
And so on
· It is important to ensure that the salt is fully dissolved before placing the fish in the bucket/tank and that the water temperature matches the tank from which the fish are taken.
As you will need to multi-dip throughout the day, place a heater in the tank, if you do not want to have to remake new salt solution each time; personally I make a fresh solution for each dip.
Before you place the fish in the solution please remember that:
· The length of time that you can leave discus in the solution varies greatly from a few seconds to 30 minutes
o 5 minutes would be a reasonable average
· The time they tolerate the dip DECREASES with the number of dips performed in a 24 hour period
· The fish MUST NOT be left unattended
· During the treatment your fish may show some interesting discolouration, do not worry this is short term.
Place the fish into the solution as quickly and as carefully as possible - then observe closely.
Initially, the respiration of the fish will increase substantially, 120 gill beats per minute is not uncommon. At some point, the fish will keel over on its side - and it is at this point that the novice should remove the fish and return it to its tank. If you are confident and experienced in dipping you may want to extend the time that the fish is exposed to the saline solution - I have found it effective to leave the fish in the solution until the gill beats have slowed to around 20 bpm - irrespective of whether the fish has keeled over or not.
Once the fish are returned to their tank they should within a few minutes regain their composure. If they appear to be in difficulty, the fish can be supported using your hands and then gently pulled backwards through the water at a slow pace - so that water is forced over the gills.
I have dipped 5 times a day for up to 7 days and there has been no lasting negative effect. It is important that the dips continue until all visible signs of infection are gone.
Tables 1 A & B give approximate figures for various salt solution concentrations. It must be remembered that Table B are coarse approximations only.
In regards to salt dipping it may be argued that returning the dipped fish to the tank from which it came is pointless – this is not the case. Ideally we would want to return the fish to a tank which had been sterilised and which contained 100% fresh (but conditioned) water, with a matured filter. It is important to remember here, that all we are doing is ‘knocking back’ the population of a ubiquitous organism and promoting the production of copious amounts of slime layer in order that the fish immune system can regain control and management of the problem. If we must return the fish to the same tank etc. then large water changes with conditioned water, scrupulous tank hygiene and the addition of salt at a rate of 2 table spoons per 10 gallons (assuming that the tank does not contain delicate plants or salt intolerant species) can work wonders – in conjunction with correct salt dipping.
Whilst I personally prefer the use of salt - it should not be forgotten that there are several alternatives. In relation to discus, various combinations of: potassium permanganate, formalin, temperature, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, large water changes, and so on, have been used to help CONTROL the external infection - with the likelihood of success being dependent on the virulence of the strain involved. For the sake of balance I will summarise the use of potassium permanganate (as an insitu bath [not a dip]).
03-02-2006, 1:32 PM
I like the idea of using the salt dip. It sounds scary but overall less scary than doing an antibiotic treatment.
Has anyone used this method before?
I'll have to get some new salt. I told my fiance to get some more Morton's salt last night. I know the iodine in the ich treatment shouldn't be a problem but I'd be worried about such a concentrated amount so maybe I"ll find some sea salt.