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Old 11-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Fungus

Can anyone recommend a good fungus medication that I can source in the uk? Got a second bout of fungus which killed my female ram. It's now on one of my honey gouramis who seems to be rubbing his head on objects.

There are so many variables that could have caused this. I read that fungus bacteria is always there but cannot penetrate the slime coating. If the coating becomes damaged then the fungus can get in. Is this true? If not what are the causes?

What size tank would be a good size quarantine tank for a honey and what steps should be taken to rid the fungus?

Thanks
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Fungus is not bacterial, just fyi. But you're right, there are fungal spores in every tank, just as there are many types of bacteria in every tank. If there is a wound, or stress, which depresses the immune system, such organisms can take the opportunity presented to cause problems. They're called opportunistic infections because of this.

Wounds often get fungal infections because any cut does break the protective slime coat and allows the organisms access.

As for a quarantine tank, 5 or 10 G is enough for most needs. A honey gourami is small, so does not need a large tank. It's probably easier to maintain good water quality in a 10G, but it can be done in a 5 too, just keep on top of it.

Many people keep a spare sponge filter in a running tank to have handy in case they need to quarantine a fish.. just drop the sponge filter into the QT and you're ready to go.

As for treatment, that's tougher. I have never had to treat fungus, so I've never had to find anything to use for it, and I've no idea what's available in the UK. There are some over the counter antifungal treatments here, so I assume there are in the UK as well. I am not at all certain how good they are, but if it's a good brand name, one of those would be worth trying.

The main thing is to keep the QT water extremely clean, with extra water changes, to reduce the number of organisms that are in the water. Keep the tank bare bottom, so any poop or leftover food can be removed quickly. With any luck the fish will get better. You can also do extra water changes on the main tank to help reduce any fungal organisms in that tank. Extra water changes are not going to harm anything, most fish appreciate them. Just match the temp and be sure to treat for chlorine or whatever is in your tap water.

The small gouramis are shy, so provide some sort of floating cover as well as something the fish can hide under or behind, to reduce stress levels. You can use live plants if the treatment is not going to affect live plants or plastic plants, or pretty much any light plastic item that might float and give some shade.. a yogurt tub lid might work nicely for floating shade. Keep the lighting low in the QT as well.

Did you see any wound on the gourami before the fungus showed up ? The rubbing on objects is called flashing, and it can be caused by external parasites, and parasite damage can be followed by fungal problems. Do you have a picture of the fish with the fungus ?

Rams can be pretty sensitive, and so can the small gouramis. Though they are lovely, they are not that easy to keep, need heavily planted tanks with lots of floating cover plants as well, and are highly susceptible to a number of diseases and infections. They need absolutely pristine water always. They want quiet water conditions, not much water movement, and no fast swimming tank mates or pushy tank mates. Males, and they're nearly always males, females are rarely seen, can also be quite territorial, and may damage other fish too. Though small, they are gouramis, and have that side to their nature.

This is a site with some info on treating various diseases. Have a look, see if any of the meds are available to you. Maracyn is widely available, I wouldn't use Meth blue alone, and anything with meth blue or malachite green in it will stain the silicone and almost anything else it touches too, permanently. So best used in a QT only. Follow the directions carefully, do whatever it tells you to do for the best results.

You can't have carbon, or activated charcoal, in the filter while using any meds. If you use cartridges for the filter, you'll have to remove them, as most have carbon in them or cut them open and dump out the carbon.

You can replace them with filter floss temporarily. Some meds may kill the bacteria in filters too, so be aware of that, it should say on the label if it will harm filter bacteria. Don't let any water from the QT get into the main tank.

Best of luck. The site is here. Fish Disease and Treatment
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Old 11-29-2013, 03:22 AM   #3
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Thanks fishfur. That has been a great help!

I just set up my 15 gallon I was due to sell today as a quarantine tank I put a very thin layer of gravel down which I will take out. When I took the tank down I left the filters in the water. Been there for a few weeks in the cold water with no food so I don't know whether the bacteria have survived (gone dormant) or died off.

I can take the sponge from my betta tank an drop it in the filter to cycle. I don't have a picture. The fungus is really small atm and i only noticed it because of the flashing.

Since I got this new 40 gal the fungus has been there. I made some silly mistakes like not boiling the rocks I got with it or cleaning the canister filter out and washing the heater. I also bought new plants and new fish.

The female ram was fine in the 15 gallon. When she got sick i treated with some blue dye white spot and fungus treatment. The fungus when away exposed some sore looking red spots. Then the fungus came back worse and she died. I can only imagine the stress of the transfer had depressed her immune system or she took a knock.

I also have a male ram who looks in great health.

The gouramis where bought together and I'm almost certain I got a male and female. One is clearly red while the other is very bland. I saw fungus on the angels from that shop too although in desperate tanks. The shop I bought the rams from had them quarantined and not for sale a week later so I'm wondering whether the health of these fish was suspect from the off.

I treated the whole tank last time. But now I have snails and shrimp this is not possible. My worry about QT is the further stress induced. Initial acclimatisation of the gouramis went well and the are really not a shy pair at all. The middle rock I have is almost like a coral rock and it's very jagged. I'm wondering whether or not he caught his head on it.

I'm so surprised that these gouramis have not shown any aggression and the whole community get on perfectly. No bullies at all.

Ill have to check the health and make the transfer when I get home later. Is it possible for the fungus to go on its own? Can the slime coating be repaired?

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Old 11-29-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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The rough rock might well have caused damage, I try not to have really rough rocks in my tanks. It does sound like you have a pair of the gouramis and I wish you success with them, but over the past half dozen years they have deteriorated in quality and health, possibly due to how many are bred, inbreeding, genetic problems, etc. Certainly they are very susceptible to a number of diseases, sadly. Usually if you see aggression it's the male when he's built a bubble nest and is hoping to entice the female to mate. Even alone they will build a nest and guard it, hoping a female will wander by.. this is how it works with them in nature.

Once a wound heals the slime coat will naturally heal too. The trick is getting the wound to heal, and fungal infections damage more tissue and slow healing, unfortunately. You can also get bacterial infections in wounds as a secondary infection too. Hope not.. but this is the reason for a bare QT and lots of water changes to keep the water as clean as possible.

Unless rocks come from suspect circumstances, you really don't have to boil them, though there's nothing wrong with doing so. I usually just scrub them off and maybe dip them in hydrogen peroxide if they had a lot of dirt on them, or bleach and water. Let dry, and there's no residue to worry about with either one of these. The chlorine will gas off as it dries. Heaters and filters should of course be washed, but unless there was sickness in the tank they were in, it's not like you can truly sterilize the things. Wipe off any algae or hard water deposits, clean grunge out of the tubing, should be good to go.

If there is any concern they might pass on some infection, then I'd soak them in a strong bleach solution overnight before using. Rinse thoroughly, use a bit of extra dechlorinator just to be sure all the bleach is neutralized. Or you could use a strong bath of Excel, the active ingredient, glutaraldehyde, is used for cold sterilization of dental instruments.

FIlters left without any food.. that is, fish waste, for a few days, will lose all their BB. They only last, maybe a day at the very most, without food. You can restart them, they'll be just like new ones starting.

If you have a mature filter that's running on another tank,you can use that to seed new filters. This is easily done, either take a small piece of media from the mature filter and place into the filter you want to cycle, or rinse the media in the mature filter in some tank water and then pour the rinsings into the filter that needs to be seeded, right into the filter floss or onto the cartridges if you use those. Or pour them into the tank, though then you have to suck up all the crud off the bottom later on. I prefer the rinsings method poured into the filter directly, it seems to work faster. You can have a cycled filter, a cycled tank in fact,

By Rams, do you mean German rams ? Lovely fish. I like them a lot but I'm not ready to keep them yet, it will take more maintenance than I am able to do right now. They can succumb to illness rather fast too.

Any infection can go away without any treatment other than QT and very clean water, but if it's of any great size or has been there awhile, chances are it won't resolve on it's own.

You can also try salt baths for fungal and bacterial infections. I'm not sure of the strength one uses but you can find that online fairly easily. You dip the fish and leave for the time recommended or until it shows signs of distress, at which point you remove it from the bath. I've also heard of using Epsom salts this way, but so far have not been able to find out if Epsom has a specific use or was simply a substitute for salt.

Aquarium salt, sea or kosher or pickling salt will all do fine for this purpose.

Because the fish is flashing, keep a close eye to be sure it does not have a parasite problem as well. Ich, gill flukes, anchor worms, all can cause flashing, as can ammonia or nitrite levels that are too high. If the rams are in QT at the store, there is something wrong, I'd try to find out why they are in QT, as it might shed some light on what you might be dealing with.
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Old 11-29-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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Thanks FF

You have been a really great help with all this so far and I always read your posts with extra interest.

I came home today and I couldn't see any sign of fungus. The Gourami has flashed once it twice but not as much as last night. I hope that the fungus wasn't a secondary effect to a more serious problem. Although the rough rock is a favourite hang out spot I'm going to have to remove it. I mean it's sharp to the touch when handling it! I have another nice piece of bog wood that can go in its place. I will keep a keen eye on all the fish in there at the moment but since I see my gouramis picking round that rock a lot my guess is that he's hurt himself on it.

The one I think is a make slimiest always follows the other. Almost like stuck to it at times with no malice. My female swords also do this.

I'm so relieved the fungus is no longer visible although I know it may not be gone. I am selling my 15 gallon tomorrow so will have to look for a suitable QT tank at a reasonable price.

My parameters are all good. Nitrates were at about 10 last night and I did a 50% water change. I have a fluval 205 canister filter too and the tank is very heavily planted. My only issue is waste on gravel as I find it difficult to guide the siphon around the plants especially when the juwel vision has a bar that runs across the top to support the lights. I've been told that hoovering helps with nitrates but also that some people beer Hoover the gravel especially with ott filtration.

I didn't clean the filter as the guy left water in it to sustain the BB till I got home. When I did eventually clean it the muck was horrendous.

Yes he is a German blue and his colours are showing beautifully.

I hope the gouramis last too

Cal
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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Lots of typos due to predicted text. Beer = never and Otto = without
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #7
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Sorry with ott filtration = with over the top

I should proof read in future lol
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