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Old 11-21-2019, 10:19 PM   #1
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Neon tetra white growth mouth/eyes and fin rot

1~What type of fish is afflicted?

20 days ago I noticed one or two of my neon tetras was looking bad.



1) White lump on his mouth (another one has this too, but his tails is just fine)
2) Damaged tail (his looks the worst, like a chunk of it was bitten or something. A few other neons have some damage but I think maybe it's from fin nipping - no white stuff on them)
3) White color on his "small fin" (sorry, I do not know the name). A few others have it for some time now
4) His eye looks white. Other have this too

Symptoms 3 and 4 a few have it for months now. 1 and 2 are new and I'm worried.

I ended up isolating the two affected fish to a hospital tank and treating them with neomycin (active ingredient of Seachem NeoPlex) and acriflavine for seven days. Since I live on Brazil, I have limited access to the more common medications out there.
The white lump on the mouth did not resolve, but the damaged tail improved greatly (almost 100% healed) and the eye a little bit.

Today I was taking a closer look at them and problems 1, 3 and 4 continue. They are still eating and behaving normally, though. The other fish seem totally unaffected.

Should I just keep with more regular water changes and try to regulate the temperature better? How important is vacuum cleaning under decorations/fake plant even if it stress the hell out of the fish?


2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)?
Ammonia: Zero
Nitrites: Zero
Nitrates: aroun 10
Temp: 28 C / 82 F to 30 C / 86 F
I live in a very hot city, so very hot days can get up to 33 C / 93 C outside. Running A/C all the time on the room is not a possibility due to the costs.
I recently bought a fan to to try to drop the temperature of the aquarium using the evaporation method. I'm working more on this because I think the temperature change is the greatest stress factor on my aquarium.

3~ How large is the tank?
20 gallon
How long has the tank been set up?
9 months

4~What type of filtration are you using?
Eheim Liberty 130 (Filter floss, Seachem Matrix and Purigen) and some other cheap hob filter with a slow flow and Seachem DeNitrate.

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
10 Neon tetra
7 Neon Negro
5 Corydora cats

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?
I used to change 10% water weekly. After the initial signs of something wrong (fin rot and white patch on the small fin), I started doing 30% weekly or more
I always vaccum the gravel partially. I didn't used to frequently vacuum under the rock and the fake plants, but did a few times after the disease started. It always stress the fish a lot because I have to remove the decorations.

7~How long have you had the fish?
Had since the beginning, after doing a complete fish-less cycling. A corydora cat died for no apparent reasons a few months ago.

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
No

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?

Loots of different types of food, see picture (no easy access to other kind of foods)

Sorry for writing too much and thank you for your time and help!
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:17 PM   #2
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Hello. Sorry for missing this post this past week.

How are the fish?

Have you changed the media or rinsed them in tap water with out dechlorinating first?

It is apparent that at some point there was a trigger to cause issue.

Likely the heat certainly is not helping you.

There seems an insufficient amount of water changed previously and 20% per week is common. And any time there would be an issue such as what you have you could as you have tarted to increase the pwc's and perhaps 2 times per week of the 30% might be a standard while it is hot.

Heat causes bacteria to thrive
Heat causes some fish to become stressed
The warmer the temp of the water the less O2 is available for the fish and adding an air stone would help as well or lowering the water line a couple inches / several cm to create more splashing /aeration. Which can cause more stress.

Stressed fish get sick easily.

Fan is a good start for some cooling!
One possible option (whether this is feasible???) If you have very hot weather conditions seasonally, worst heat over just several months you might consider using frozen water bottles to help cool the tank maybe adding in the morning when you leave, having a set for freezing and a set for using, and switching them when you get home.

Check for moving from hotter area by a window maybe to a lower cooler spot.... or other such possible helps.

Cotton mouth disease is a gram negative infection. Neomycin and acriflavine treats that but it might have developed resistance, or need a longer course of treatment like 10 days or longer. I can not say and not experienced enough, to say for sure. Just thinking of how taking antibiotics as a person can be.

The more usually recommended treatment medications for the disease are kanamycin and nitrofurazone. Maybe they are available?

As for the vac'ing you would just need to clean where you see mucky dirty water coming up.

Checking how much you are feeding might help as well.

Slow down feeding and just feed an amount they eat every minute, then add a little bit, make sure they eat it, and so on until the amount is fed. If you feed just once per day consider dividing their food into morning and evening portions.

This will help reduce waste which also causes the more mucky substrate. And reduce vac'ing need. Maybe just vac under once every few weeks. Maybe you can lift a decoration while vac'ing and then set back down, minimizing disturbance.

Foods with lots of fillers like grain meal will cause additional waste too. Most foods will contain some of these for the production of the shape of pellets wafers, etc.

Stressing them out with a big disruption of the whole tank does seem problematic.

Maybe focus feeding on one side of the tank with less decoration (might need to change / move some decor) and it will also help keep mess in an easier spot to vac.

Keep up water changes.

Also you might want to sanitize the nets and water changing things after each use until the fish are well. Bleach is what I usually use. Not sure on concentrations for products where you live.

"What percentage of bleach is in Clorox brand bleach?
At 7.4% sodium hypochlorite, Clorox Disinfecting Bleach is more concentrated than most other bleach products." web

You can use 1/4 cup / 60ml to 3/4 cup / 177ml of bleach per 1 gallon / 3.785L to sanitize vac, nets, water holding containers. I soak them for up to a day.
Triple rinse very well, then add dechlorinator to soak for up to a day. Rinse again and air dry.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:01 PM   #3
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Hey! Thank you for your help!

Quote:
How are the fish?
They look the same as before. They all seem to be eating.
The problem on the mouth seems to be a bit better.
The eyes are the most frighting part. I can't tell if the white stuff is inside or outside. Sometimes it looks likes it's a growth outside, covering the eyes, looks like a fungus but I'm not sure .


Quote:
Have you changed the media or rinsed them in tap water with out dechlorinating first?
No. I'm very careful about dechlorinating water and I don't think I made that mistake.

Quote:
Likely the heat certainly is not helping you.
I'll try to mantain a lower and more stable temperature with a temperature controller and evaporative cooling

Quote:
There seems an insufficient amount of water changed previously and 20% per week is common. And any time there would be an issue such as what you have you could as you have tarted to increase the pwc's and perhaps 2 times per week of the 30% might be a standard while it is hot.
Yes, now I'm doing two 30% PWCs weekly.

Quote:
Heat causes bacteria to thrive
Heat causes some fish to become stressed
The warmer the temp of the water the less O2 is available for the fish and adding an air stone would help as well or lowering the water line a couple inches / several cm to create more splashing /aeration. Which can cause more stress.
I have a small air stone running. I also have a bigger one, but it's too noise so I use the smaller one. The fish are always mid to bottom so I don't know if oxigenation is a problem.


Quote:
Cotton mouth disease is a gram negative infection. Neomycin and acriflavine treats that but it might have developed resistance, or need a longer course of treatment like 10 days or longer. I can not say and not experienced enough, to say for sure. Just thinking of how taking antibiotics as a person can be.
The more usually recommended treatment medications for the disease are kanamycin and nitrofurazone. Maybe they are available?
I can check if they are. But in your opinion should I treat the whole tank or isolate the affected fish on my hospital tank?
If the tank had only the neon tetras, I would treat all of them. But I'm afraid to hurt my corydoras, since I read they are more sensitive to medication.
Putting them on the hospital tank and treating the whole tank is an option, but I'm also afraid of the stress on them.
I think I'll wait a bit more and only use meds if the problem seems to get worse.


Quote:
This will help reduce waste which also causes the more mucky substrate. And reduce vac'ing need. Maybe just vac under once every few weeks. Maybe you can lift a decoration while vac'ing and then set back down, minimizing disturbance.
Yes, I'll try that!

Quote:
Stressing them out with a big disruption of the whole tank does seem problematic.
Yes, thank you for saying that! One time I had a black neon floating upside down after so much stress (he was fine after a while).


Quote:
Also you might want to sanitize the nets and water changing things after each use until the fish are well. Bleach is what I usually use. Not sure on concentrations for products where you live.
Thank for the advice, I never sanitized anything I used. Does the bacteria that affect fish can live without water? I thought they would die when dried.


In summary:
  • 2 30% PWC weekly
  • If they get worse, consider meds. Should I treat the whole tank or just a few?
  • Regulate and lower temperature in a better way
  • Sanitize what I use

One last thing: Since I'm most worried about the eyes now, do you know what could that be?

Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:43 PM   #4
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"In summary:
2 30% PWC weekly
If they get worse, consider meds. Should I treat the whole tank or just a few?
Regulate and lower temperature in a better way
Sanitize what I use

One last thing: Since I'm most worried about the eyes now, do you know what could that be?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are the eyes more fuzzy or cloudy? Or some of both.

The fish might have such a degree of illness/ damage that they will not live a long life, even if they survive now and /or after a treatment.

And yes for awhile increased pwc's.

If it seems to be Columnaris I would treat the entire tank for sure and if there would be bad bacteria in the tank "lurking" waiting for the next opportunity to attack a stressed fish, it would make me interested to treat the whole tank as well.

The alternative would be to move the Cories if they do not look to have any symptoms. Then treat the tank.

It does sound much more like the Neons are in tough shape need more treatment/help.

In honesty I am learning in helping treat fish. Mostly I have to check, double check and weigh other experiences in treating.

Clean water is #1.

Good nutrition important.

Reducing stress...

Creating in the tank the best set up for the fish. Plants for hiding places, compatible tank mates and numbers for groups of fish which like to swim with friends, correct temperatures, keeping the tank in the good pH and tank parameters for the fish.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
"In summary:
2 30% PWC weekly
If they get worse, consider meds. Should I treat the whole tank or just a few?
Regulate and lower temperature in a better way
Sanitize what I use

One last thing: Since I'm most worried about the eyes now, do you know what could that be?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are the eyes more fuzzy or cloudy? Or some of both.
If they are just a little cloudy it is possible its unrelated to the white spot problem. Are these older fish, by chance? A couple of my neons developed what I think were cataracts in their old age. They lived quite some time with cloudy eyes but otherwise behaviorally normal. They hid a little more; probably made them nervous to not be able to see too well.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
If it seems to be Columnaris I would treat the entire tank for sure and if there would be bad bacteria in the tank "lurking" waiting for the next opportunity to attack a stressed fish, it would make me interested to treat the whole tank as well.
It does not look to be Columnaris.
I think I'll wait a couple more weeks before deciding to treat or to not treat the whole tank. I'll follow the advice of improving water quality and maintaining a stable temperature!
They do not seem to be getting better, but they do not seem to be getting worse either, so I'll wait.

Quote:
The alternative would be to move the Cories if they do not look to have any symptoms. Then treat the tank.
Yeah, I think that would be the best, but I'm worried it will stress them a lot too. Capturing the fish and change the environment may be a bit too harsh. The problem is that the meds are also hard on them, so it's a difficult choice!


Quote:
Are the eyes more fuzzy or cloudy? Or some of both.
Quote:
If they are just a little cloudy it is possible it’s unrelated to the white spot problem. Are these older fish, by chance?
Replying to both of you at the same time:
I don't think the fish are old and I don't think they are cataracts. I took a better look at them now and the white stuff seems to be a growth OUTSIDE the eye. It's hard to explain, but that's what it looks like.
I searched for "cloudy" on Google Images and it's definitively not that.


About the mouth, I found a tread that seems to be exactly the problem:
Little white bump just above the lip on neon tetra
I'll try to do the same as the original thread.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:23 PM   #7
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Does it look fuzzy like a fungus or swollen like popeye?
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by libertybelle View Post
Does it look fuzzy like a fungus or swollen like popeye?
It's definitely not popeye. The eye is not swollen. It looks like it's "coated" in this white thing. When the light is off you can't see it. And it's does not look like the other fungus infections I see online. It looks like a layer of maybe 1 or 2 mm, it's not fuzzy.

I'll try to take a better picture, it's hard to explain!
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