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Old 04-08-2012, 05:14 AM   #1
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Please help!!!

My male Molly called James is really ill, his mouth is all crusty and white, and he is laying on his back. With a nudge he move and try to swim but it is a struggle and he can't keep upright, just keeps going back to the floor of the tank on his back. I don't know what to do!
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:25 AM   #2
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Hi!
Can you post some pictures? What exactly does it look like? Fuzzy? What size tank? Tank mates? What are your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH?
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:35 AM   #3
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He is in a 40g tank with two female mollies and a paradise fish, all water levels are within the normal range, it looks like crusty cotton wool but only around his mouth. His breathing seems to be becoming more and more laboured :-(
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:52 AM   #4
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When you say within normal range, what exactly are they? They should be 0 ammonia and nitrite and 20ppm or less nitrate.
How fast has it come on? I would quarantine him ASAP if you can.
Can look look up pictures of columnaris?
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:19 AM   #5
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my test kits dont give exact readings, just says <0.3 etc. it came on really suddenly, he was loitering near the heater last night then this morning was on his back. i thought he was dead till i saw his gills move, but he seems to be worsening before my eyes. These are some pics, they arent great im afraid but they show him on his back with the crusty mouth
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:51 AM   #6
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I'm suspecting columnaris. You will need to act fast to have any chance of saving him. It's very contagious so if you can separate him from the others, do so ASAP.
Quote:
Bacterial External Infections, Columnaris (specific to F. columnaris); Often Misnamed "Mouth Fungus", Fish Tuberculosis/TB Skin Infection (specific to Mycobacterium spp.)
Pathogen/Cause: Various organisms. Positive diagnosis not possible outside of lab culture & microscopy (not practical for most hobbyists). Gram positive: exceedingly rare in FW fish; small handful of SW species, but most primarily do not attack skin. Gram negative: Flexibacter columnaris, Aeromonas spp., Pseudomonas spp., Vibrio spp., Salmonella spp., many others not listed. Non-stainable: Mycobacterium spp., mostly M. piscium & M. marinum
Physical Signs: White, clear, red/pink areas of necrosis. Occasionally slightly ragged/fuzzy appearence. Inflammed patches and sometimes deeper ulcers develop. Various patterns of appearence and presentation. Columnaris usually presents near the head and sides of the body and is often mistaken for a fungus; it is characteristically white and patchy.
Behavioral Signs: Various: lethargy, hiding behavior, "hanging", clamped fins, loss of appetite, general constitutional signs.
Potential Treatment: Broad spectrum antibiotics. (Examples include but are not limited to: Maracyn I & II, Jungle Binox, Aquatronics Kanacyn, etc.). Frequent water changes a must to improve quality. Tuberculosis is difficult to treat because it attacks intracellularly.
Other Notes: Frequent water changes a must to improve quality. Test for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates. Columnaris perhaps one of the most common skin infections of pet fish (livebearer fish and certain other fish especially susceptible). Specifically for F. columnaris, read this article by Dr. Barb. Fish tuberculosis (though not transmitted by the same species that causes human tuberculosis) can be transmitted as zoonosis called "fish tank granuloma" on hands with open wounds (again, another article by Dr. Barb discusses this issue. Use gloves if reaching in the tank with suspect animals.
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/fish_...ation.html#ERM

Turn the temp of the tank down to 70-72F. Add 1 tablespoon of salt per 5gallons/20L of tank water. Add 1/4 of the dose every 6 hours. Dissolve it in a cup of tank water before adding. If your in the UK or Aus look for a product called myxazin. If your in the US you'll need to get an antibiotic that treats gram negative bacteria.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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I think it's too late, he is barely breathing, not moving at all (not even with a nudge) and is just doing the odd twitch. I'm not an expert at all but I really think it is too late :-(((
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddymoo
I think it's too late, he is barely breathing, not moving at all (not even with a nudge) and is just doing the odd twitch. I'm not an expert at all but I really think it is too late :-(((
I'm very sorry you can euthanize him if you think he's suffering. I would still reduce the temp and add salt for a week or two just to make sure the others are ok.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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I found Kanamycin really helpful. Seachem's KanaPlex specifically states "Because it is absorbed by fish it is useful in treating internal infections in those situations where food is refused." If your fish are eating it gives directions for medicated feeding, using Seachem Focus to minimize loss and/or Garlic Guard for palatability.

Just my two cents. And no, I have no affiliation with any of the products! I was able to purchase all three of them from That Fish Place which is my LFS (if local = 40 minutes) but none of the chain stores have any of them. I know others have purchased them online.

EDIT: While I wrote this I missed your post about too late. Having dealt with this, you may still want to treat your other fish. Kanaplex will not disturb your filter bed (BB). I am not one to promote random antibiotic use but better to save your other fish if you have a clearly sick individual. And I agree - you have to make the best choice when it comes to suffering and euthanasia. :/
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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He has gone :-( my five year old is devastated at James was his fish. I can't believe how quick it all happened. I will be keeping a super close eye on the remaining fish now. Thank you for all your advice, I really appreciate it
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