!!! Help !!! : Critical Situation - Disease Outbreak : !!! Help !!!

Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Over the nearly 3-year life of this aquarium, I have been pretty fortunate in having only minor incidents requiring minor adjustments to resolve. Overall, I have had a pretty stable community of freshwater fish and inverts with pretty stable water parameter (with shifts occuring slowly over time and in controlled fashion such as addition of CO2 use of minor infusions of baking soda and so on).

Unfortunately, I am struggling with a lethal outbreak of disease in the tank following the introduction of several fish from a lps into what has been a stable and health community of fish for several years (yes, the fish were acclimated, I dosed w/stress-ezyme, etc.,). With regard to onset, I believe it was between 24-48 hours after introduction that the first deaths started to occur. Initially, I observed the minnow fish (celestial diano and cardinal tetra) were the first to die and have been the focal point of the disease; however, it has spread and hit one large swordtail, one small tiger hillstream loach, one small flame tetra, and a few sparkling gourami. Interestingly, I have not observed deaths in the dwarf cory, julii cory, ottos, and SAE. It is also significant to note that the plants and inverts appear unaffected prior to and throughout the treatment to date.

After the death of the first three minnow fish, I took pretty standard action including a water change (40-50%) w/prime, dosing with extra stress-zyme, increasing aquarium salt to highest recommended dosing, and use of metafix and pimafix. After 3-days, I have notice symptoms and remove those fish from the tank (no survivors). In addition, I have boosted the minimum temperature to 80 (typically varies from 74-82 depending on weather and whether house is opened-up or AC though temperature is not suddenly changed).

Even so, I have experienced the loss of several fish a day (often over night). Initially, I did not notice any specific symptoms until late in the second day. At this point, several minnow fish had white film-like patches on their bodies and one cardinal tetra had lost color in the connective area between body and tail (though not the body or tail).

Although I have no intention of dosing my aquarium with copper or such poisons (that could ruin the tank), I would appreciate any help. I have considered and am willing to capture all of the remaining fish and treaming them with a chemical bath though have no experience and would benefit from guidance.

Thank-You - In Advance

Current Water Parameters (Morning Readings)

7.4 pH 8.5 KH 6.5 GH 0.0 Ammonia 0.0 Nitrate 0.0 Nittite 0.25 Phos
80-degree temperature

Celestial Diano - White Disease Spot (Image 1)
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Celestial Diano - White Disease Spot (Image 2)
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Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi,

I have had some experience with this and is not good news...I have lost many batches of cardinals, pencil fish, and rummy nose tetras to this over many years..

I have found no cure and losses are always high...All fish added to existing tanks and many subsequent losses.

I have seen it called neon tetra disease as the loss of coloration/transparency were noticed among the first fish affected in great numbers.

May I ask your acclimation technique?
 

Yo-han

Guru Class Expert
Feb 6, 2011
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Quite sure it's not white spot, looks more like fungus or bacteria to me. Try to get some broad spectrum medicine first. In Europe we got esha2000 which works very good for a lot of diseases, but I've heard this is not common available in the USA. Try to get something similar.
 
H

Htomassini

Guest
I know exactly what this is. It is called culminaris. It is treated with cooler temps and kanacyn antibiotic. Seachem sells it as kanaplex. Your store prob buys from segrest farms and came into your lfs with livebearers. It will wipe out a lot of fish. 3 days of kanacyn no carbon, and 3 days dosing of either jungle fungus eliminator or mag floats labs fungus clear will save your some of your fish.

This is a a really bad disease and it's hard to cure.

At our store we don't have a shared water system so we have been able to isolate it to one tank, but a lot of lfs run a shared system so all of the water gets contaminated. Tetras, and livebearers get hit the worst as do barbs..

Good luck.



Henry tomassini
www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Update, Status, & Thank-You

Flavobacteria columnaris appears to be the consensus from multiple sources. It was a sad educational experience reading about this bacteria - especially the lethality and speed with which it will devastate a tank. With regard to acclimation to general water conditions, I have been pretty good - clean holding container, slow drip line, and plenty of time 30+ minutes on slow drip. On the other hand, I have no quarantine procedure. I really only took one precaution - making sure that I do not purchase lps fish that are newly arrived (generally wait a week).

In truth, I have kept tanks for years throughout my adolescence (5+ yrs), a few years in college (3+ yrs), and for close to 3-yrs with this set-up (my serious planted tank). So, I guess that I have been super fortunate to never have had more than the rare minor problem here-or-there which have been easily treated. So, I guess I am learning a hard lesson late. It is also a much more expensive lession at this stage since I have the budget for some of the fish I could not afford earlier in life. It really makes no sense not to run a quarantine process in a smaller tank or even heated and filtered bucket and treat with appropriate agents prior to release into main tanks.

One of my big mistakes was not appreciating the degree of lethality in some infectous organisms as I have never encountered something as quick as this bacteria.

With regard to my tank, I did a full-water change (85-90%), dropped temperature, added aquarium salt, and given the advice and diagnosis implimented treatment agent for freshwater fish that focuses on gram-negative bacteria though is listed "not harmful to fish, invertebrates, corals, etc., nor does it affect the symbiotic algae vital to corals or other beneficial bacteria" (i.e., Rally by Ruby Reef). In addition, I picked-up HydroPlex by Ruby Reef for possible dip and initial bare-tank/bucket quarantine process and hospital tank.

Although the death rate among the cardinals and celestials has been brutal and sparkling gourami have suffered a few causalities, I believe that the rest of the fish are holding their own at this point in time. If another of the minnows perishes, I will cull the rest of them as they seem to be particularly vulnerable and treat the rest of the fish.

Thank-you, for your help and your empathy. I love my aquarium and the hobby. So, I look at it as a hard sad lesson though it will make my future tanks better. In the worst case scenerio, I will use it as an opportunity to shift this tank to mineralized topsoil and do some rescaping (though it is always better to do so on your own terms rather than lemonaide from lemons).

If things clear-up, I may take the opportunity to pull the suvivors aside in a quarantine set-up (bare bottom smaller tank) and do a strip-down with the rebuild using mts in any case. Oh well, I guess we'll see.

Again, thanks,

POST-SCRIPT: I did read "cooler temps and kanacyn antibiotic" and I will look into this antibiotic tomorrow as it is too late tonight (stores closed). Thank-You
 

Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Henry,

Thank-you. As I mentioned, I am sure you are spot on as it is the consensus of all the feedback. I appreciate your advice and was advised in a similar fashion on another forum cooler temps, low-to-no-light, and Kanamycin which I assume is similiar to or the same as kanacyn antibiotic/Seachem kanaplex (APC). Unfortunately, I did not get this information until I was home and will return to the petstore tomorrow to see about purchase.

I was curious what thoughts you might have on Rally and HydroPlex by Ruby Reef (used as describe above). Thank-you, again,

Htomassini;86439 said:
I know exactly what this is. It is called culminaris. It is treated with cooler temps and kanacyn antibiotic. Seachem sells it as kanaplex. Your store prob buys from segrest farms and came into your lfs with livebearers. It will wipe out a lot of fish. 3 days of kanacyn no carbon, and 3 days dosing of either jungle fungus eliminator or mag floats labs fungus clear will save your some of your fish.

This is a a really bad disease and it's hard to cure.

At our store we don't have a shared water system so we have been able to isolate it to one tank, but a lot of lfs run a shared system so all of the water gets contaminated. Tetras, and livebearers get hit the worst as do barbs..

Good luck.



Henry tomassini
www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 
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Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Annapolis, MD
Good news! It appears that I have suffered no additional losses over from last evening through 8:15am with the speed at which the bacteria was moving through the system especially the minnows it appears to be a good sign (the last two tetras and celetisal diano are swimming about without unusual behavior or spottting. I also discovered that several sparkling gourami were hiding and the loss was only a single fish. It is amazing that the Cory habrosus, Cory False Julii, and SAEs seem unaffected by the bacteria. I see snail (spiny trumpet) and amano shrimp are moving about as well. I am going to leave the lights on for bit while feeding them and a few hours tonight for the plants though otherwise lights out and additional treatment.

In terms of treating, I should not that I did a 85-90% water change, added the full dose (for 65-Gallons) of Rally by Ruby Reef, let it sit for 10-minutes (a bath level dosing of sorts), and then slowly filled tank to 70% full (20-minutes) and then let it sit for about 1.5-2 hours prior to filling-up the tank. It was my hope to give a nice concentrated dosing at a bath level followed by a somewhat higher dosing for 1.5-2-hours. I also continued to dose with Melafix and Pimafix (after full). After 70% (water level) which was achieved in late evening, I turned-off lights and the canister filter just adding two microbubble air stones with battery powered pumps that I use in the event of power outage and kept it that way over night.

At this point, I am running the cannister and lights while feeding for an hour and will dose again following the run. I am holding-off on HydroPlex dip with existing fish though will be looking at quarantine tank-bucket options later today. While I got slammed, I have a good number of survivors and the tank appears to be 'rallying back.' I sure hope so.

Well, it's been a pretty expensive and sad lesson. We have groups - fraternity and pimp 'x' - though I think that I have just joined the unofficial "quarantine first" group.

I will update through the next few days so folks know what final results with the hope of continuing to post positive results. Thank-you, again,
 
H

Htomassini

Guest
I'm glad to hear that things are getting better. Columnaris is the worst disease in the hobby next to neon disease . I do not have experience with rally. This disease moves extremely fast. There have been times that we took the fish out of the box, they looked great, put them in a tank and six hours later were showing signs of illness and in 18 to 20 hours wiped out the tank. We have changed suppliers and that has been a great help. We also boost the gh in our water to 3-4 dkh with equilibrium and use http://stores.theplantedaquariumstore.com/-strse-710/LIVEBEARER-&-BRACKISH-AQUARIUM/Detail.bok brackish salt as it is not chloride based and will not burn plants. Cories discus and cichlids will usually not get this. Be wary of tetras, as neon disease is viral and highly contagious. We no longer buy them from certain suppliers due to this. Qt them and observe them for a week. You should only lose one or two at most.

When qt them bring up the gh as it is the most important part of the acclimating process. Btw, most lfs use either filtered tap or straight ro in their tanks with little or no gh. The gh boosts their immune system and helps with redox.


Henry tomassini
www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 
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Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Thank-Yous & Thoughts

Henry & All,

I really appreciate the support and advice. I will make note of the importance of GH in quarantine environment. I had not considered the chloride aspect of the salt in more typical Aquarium Salts. Although you noted "cories, discus, and cichilds will not ususually get this..." it was unclear to me whether the "this" refers to the disease or the salt and/or the boosted GH/KH?

In terms of quarantine, I am considering a 10-minute bath prior to placement in a treated quarantine environment (i.e., 1-2 weeks). I found the "Quarantine" (post series) to be helpful and liked the idea of incorporating fast-growth, low-light stems into the extended quarantine environment. In addition, I believe that my tools and water change tube system are overdue for a cleaning-soak especially the nets, pinchers, and tubes used to pull the bodies from the tanks. I think that the powerhead on water change tube cycling from and back into bucket is a great idea in terms of maximizing treatments as you need only treat a few gallons to achieve the desire results.

Finally, I have been considering for some time the addition of an inline UV Sterlizer (not as a substitute for quarantine). Any thoughts? Thank-you,
 
H

Htomassini

Guest
The disease.
Your welcome

Uv are good, but will not stop some thing like this.

Fw fish will benefit from a quick bath like sw fish do to get rid of ick.

So don't stress them an just qt them.



Henry tomassini
www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

Tyger

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Feb 19, 2011
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Update - final report - tank rallied

UPDATE:

I am happy to report that it has been 48-hours without any additional automatic fish or losses. Given the heavily planted nature of the aquarium, I cannot account for all of the amano shrimp though I have seen three at one time which is about half-of-them though I have feeling most or all survived. RCS are fine. Inverts are fine. Although the minnow fish took a serious hit to their schools, I had 3 Celestials Dianos and 2 Cardinal Tetras survive (along with the one ancient long-finned zebra diano). In terms of the other species, I experienced no loss in cory julii, plecos, or SAEs. It is difficult to tell with the otos and habrosus are difficult to count for the same reason as the amano shrimp though I pulled no bodies and their appear to have been no losses. In terms of non-minnow losses, I lost 1 swordtail (ancient, beautiful hi-fin, lyretail) who has been showing age for months (healthy though old), 1 flame tetra, 1 sparkling gourami (not more as I thought), and 1 small tiger hillstream loach. Amazingly, I had babies - swordtails and pure breed endlers in a flow through breeder attached that survived without losses.

In terms of behavior, I have seen a rapid return to full energy and normal behavior for each species - presenting as happy and healthy. In any case, I will dose Rally by Ruby Reef as instructed (3-days) though I believe that the storm has passed.

Incidentally, I will note that I can now highly recommend Rally by Ruby Reef. It stopped rampant infection cold without a single death after it was used. MY USE: As I noted above, I did a full 85-90% water change using cool water, put in the full dosage for aquarium, and let it sit for 10-minutes (creating an intensive bath), added full dose of Prime, filled tank to 70-80% capacity, and again let it sit at a slightly higher concentration than dose for 2-hours, and then filled it to capacity. I shut-off all of the lights (in part as it was late evening though would have no matter what), kept the cannister filter "off" and running two-battery powered micro-aire stones for water movement and oxygen. I continued to half-dose with Metaflix and Pimaflix to slow the progression though neither prevented infection. After 24-hours, I ran the cannister for 1-2 hours in the AM, 1-2 hours in the PM, and off-over night primarily to cycle contaminated water from filter to tank and cycle Rally into filter(continunig to dose Rally). I turned on the filter today and will run without charcoal for the day (3rd day). With regard to Rally, I will say that it stopped this rampant infection cold without a single death after it was used.

Personally, while I intend to quarantine all new comers, I plan to keep a full-bottle of Rally in stock. I have not used the HydroPlex for bath or hospital tank though will do so as a part of the quarantine process when I begin to slowly restock some of the minnow fish in 3-4 weeks (after the baby swordtails and enders are exchanged at the lfs).

Again, I want to thank those who offered support and empathy. It helps and matters,
 
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