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Old 11-22-2004, 10:24 AM   #1
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Possible Fungus Outbreak

My porcupine puffer fish has a case of some type of external problem. It looks almost like marine ick, although the dusting of white spots over him is much finer than ick and covers much more of his body than ick typically would. My assumption is that he has some type of fungus growing on him. His fins are simply covered in the white spots, although like I said before they are much finer than the white spots typically associated with ick.

I have quarantened him in my 10 gallon hospital tank and am treating him with both Mela Fix, and Pima Fix. I raised the tank tempature to 82 degrees in hopes of warding off any possible parasites. As of this morning, one day into treatment nothing had changed. Any suggestions on what this may be, or how to treat it?
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:56 AM   #2
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From what you describe, it sounds like either ich or more likely velvet. Is he eating? Cloudy eyes? active? Raising the temp will not ward off the parasite, it just speeds up the life cycle.
The meds you are using will not help with a parasitic outbreak, you may as well stop them and run carbon to get them out.
can you post a pic of him? Would be helpful.
Puffers are sensative to copper based drugs, so if he has a parasite, the treatment of choice would be formalin. For ich I would say hypo, but this sound suspiciously like velvet. Awaiting further details.
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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Kurt,

He is both eating and active. His eyes are totally clear and he is eating well. I will get some pics of him this afternoon and post them. Would Green X be a good choice of medication?
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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Those are good signs, yes the pic would help.
Have never used Green X, I see that is has malachite green in it. That stuff is potent. IMO if you could find a regular formalin drug that would be better. Check around at different LFS's, only one in my area had it when I needed it.
Lets see the pic and go from there.
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Old 11-22-2004, 01:50 PM   #5
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Kurt,

I have read a good bit about velvet. Do you think it is possible the puffer has a severe case of ich. The cists that cover his body do not contain a goldish color but are totally white, and I dont see them moving. His fins seem to be the worst affected area, though his whole body is covered.
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Old 11-22-2004, 01:56 PM   #6
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I am suspicious that it may be. I went through a systemwide outbreak of it a while back and it was white color on my fish as well. You won't see any movement, the spots are where the parasite is irrititating the fish.
It may be ich but thats why I am suggesting the formalin instead of hypo for your puffer. Formalin would work on both ailments.
Thats why I would like to see a pic.
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:05 PM   #7
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The puffer would actually tolerate Cuprmine as well. It too will deal with both issues and not stress the fish as much as Formalin dips might. It is also much easier on the hobbiest in terms of application and can be mixed with antibiotics if needs must. Puffers are notorious for secondary infections and formalin should not be used in the presence of open wounds/sores. Just be sure you get the proper Seachem Multi test Copper kit to go with it. An ammonia alert badge would also be a +

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Old 11-23-2004, 11:45 AM   #8
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I went ahead and raised the tank tempature to 84 to speed up the parasite's life cycle and added Green X, a lot of people hate it, a friend of mine that is a marine biologist recommends it so that is what I used.

This morning the cysts were down by quite a bit. All the body cysts were gone and only those on the fins and around the eyes remained. Hopefully these will leave soon, if not I am going to attempt Hyposalinity to remove the remaining parasite.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman7010
, a friend of mine that is a marine biologist recommends it so that is what I used.
I truely mean no offense to your friend but you'd be suprised at what they don't know. GreenX is seriously nasty stuff and what's worse is it rarely gets rid of the parasite just eases the infestation some. Raising the temp was not a good idea either. With the increased temp you will speed up the life cycle but it will also change the pH of the fishs' blood reducing it's immune response making it even more seseptible to secondaty infection and further infestation. You where better off leaving the temp be.

Quote:
This morning the cysts were down by quite a bit. All the body cysts were gone and only those on the fins and around the eyes remained. Hopefully these will leave soon, if not I am going to attempt Hyposalinity to remove the remaining parasite.
The lessening of visible spots is not really an indication the med is working so you must be patient and watch the puffer for signs of secondary infection as well as re-infestation. The life cycle of the parasite requires it to leave the fish and encyst while it multiplies. This often gives the hobbiest a fasle sense of security. If you switch to hypo, make sure you do several water changes and run carbon to remove the med, the two tratments combined would be deadly to most fish, especially one as a sensitive as a puffer. I would also be sure you have access to a broad spectrum antibiotic. Check out a few LFS to be sure it's accessible and make note of what they have. No need to buy any just yet though.

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Old 11-23-2004, 01:15 PM   #10
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Hmmm.... yeah obviosuly he didnt think through his suggestion. Although I have used Green X in the past with good results. My plan for the puffer is this, let me know what you think.

Run carbon in filters to remove all traces of green X.
Begin the process of lowering salt content to 1.010
Allow several days for infection to subside
Do a 25-30% water change to remove any possibly remaining medication and readjust salinity to 1.021
Begin use of Mela Fix to repair any damaged tissue
Use Vitamin C Treatment to enhance immunity
Give puffer some time in quarentiine to totally heal
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