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Old 03-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
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Wasting disease trouble

I know wasting disease is trouble all the time, but I can't seem to get rid of it.

I moved halfway across the country and all my fish survived (yay!) however, a few got very skinny so I believed they might have got wasting disease. I treated them, they seemed to perk up, I thought everything was fine.
Well I have another fish suddenly drop weight...so did I not get rid of it? Does wasting disease take more than one treatment to cure?

I used the API stuff. Mollies are the affected fish


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Old 03-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #2
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Ive never been able to figure this diesease out. I have tried numerous treatments with everything.....metronidazole, clout, de-wormers such as prazipro and fenbendazole, there were no worms in my case.....
Let me guess, the old ones get skinny and dont eat much, and any new additions get bloated and die within a week or two?
Can you observe any red worms that look like a paintbrush coming out their vent?
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:05 PM   #3
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I haven't noticed any worms, just stringy poo and a few getting skinny.
So far, the oldest molly is fat and happy. I'll try to observe them more tonight to see if I notice any paint brush looking things


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Old 03-04-2016, 08:28 PM   #4
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Ya it mimic's camallanus but i never noticed any worms. I could never figure this disease out. Nobody could.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:39 PM   #5
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This is disheartening. I hoped maybe I just needed to get new medication.
Should I separate the sick fish from the healthy ones? I have them all in the same tank because I decided to treat them all for in.


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Old 03-04-2016, 10:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by katana View Post
I know wasting disease is trouble all the time, but I can't seem to get rid of it.

I moved halfway across the country and all my fish survived (yay!) however, a few got very skinny so I believed they might have got wasting disease. I treated them, they seemed to perk up, I thought everything was fine.
Well I have another fish suddenly drop weight...so did I not get rid of it? Does wasting disease take more than one treatment to cure?

I used the API stuff. Mollies are the affected fish


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Sounds like tuberculosis ( a.k.a. wasting disease) and it's common in livebearers and sadly, not easy to cure. Yes, it will take much more than a single dose of any medication to eradicate it from the tank and any fish that is effected should be removed from the tank as it spreads most when the infected fish dies and the others eat it or it's waste.
This disease is usually brought on by poor water conditions and acidic PH waters. In livebearers, higher PH waters ( above 7.0) are best for long term health. As for treating, unless the PH or water conditions are fixed, no medicine will clear this up.
Assuming the water is not an issue anymore, this is usually a gram + disease organism which is why Tetracycline and its derivatives were thought to be the best meds to use however, since some meds can cause unwanted resistant strains of bacteria, it's best to do a sensitivity culture before using TC. ( Ask your local Veterinarian if they can do this for you.) Kanamycin can work on resistant strains of TB but it's best to use gram + meds first before using the Kanamycin. Sulfa 4 TMP Powder by National Fish Pharmaceuticals is a combination of 4 sulpha drugs and would be my first choice of action. If this drug does not stop the disease after multiple full treatments, then I would try the Kanamycin.
Sadly, TB is an easier disease to prevent than to cure ( and can be expensive to cure) and it may become necessary to sterilize the tank and start over. I would not add any new fish to this tank and I'd isolate any equipment you use in this tank from any other tanks you may have unless strong sterilizing efforts are done.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:31 AM   #7
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WOW andy, are you sure?
This one really had me stumped for along time.
Thanks for that great info, could you elaborate if you feel like talking abit about it? I'd really appreciate it, as well as pass the word along.
Symptoms on mine as well as others were.....
-Skinny fish with chronic illness
-Swimming under food, taking a bite and spitting it out
-New additions would bloat and die within 2 weeks
-Stringy feces
-Red Dots
-Some had tail rot
-Paralysis "whirling" right before death
I never observed bent spines. I got some "wild guppies" from this one J$$K guy who turned out to be some teenager selling fish on AB, and i had this disease wipe out idk how many guppies, almost put me out of the hobby completely. Even took a sick fish to the vet for Autospy....they noticed alot of mucus in its gut but no worms or internal parasites.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Matt68005 View Post
WOW andy, are you sure?
This one really had me stumped for along time.
Thanks for that great info, could you elaborate if you feel like talking abit about it? I'd really appreciate it, as well as pass the word along.
Symptoms on mine as well as others were.....
-Skinny fish with chronic illness
-Swimming under food, taking a bite and spitting it out
-New additions would bloat and die within 2 weeks
-Stringy feces
-Red Dots
-Some had tail rot
-Paralysis "whirling" right before death
I never observed bent spines. I got some "wild guppies" from this one J$$K guy who turned out to be some teenager selling fish on AB, and i had this disease wipe out idk how many guppies, almost put me out of the hobby completely. Even took a sick fish to the vet for Autospy....they noticed alot of mucus in its gut but no worms or internal parasites.
All those symptoms could be a couple of different ailments but an autopsy result of no worms or internal parasites eliminates most of them and points more towards a bacterial infection ( which TB is) and the fact that the new fish you added became sick too really points to a system wide issue and not a localized internal one.
In the past, one of the more common post mortem signs of TB was a brown coloring in the abdominal area. If you saw that, you knew to treat the entire tank and sterilize everything that had come in contact with that tank and fish. Today, this may not be as clear as there are new strains and effect fish differently. All the symptoms you mentioned could be linked to a bacterial infection so the fish does not have to have all of them for it to be considered TB.
Internet research is okay but I strongly suggest you have books ( not just ebooks) in your library so you can research and diagnose your fish's ailments. I highly recommend this book: Handbook of fish diseases by Untergasser ( get the english version unless you can read and understand German ) as a great diagnostic tool. It's available on a number of sites and not super expensive ( I got mine on Ebay used ) and has a grid "If this, then go to this step" approach for diagnosing issues. What's nice about this book is that if you are uncertain, you can look through and pose a different scenario and then see if what you are seeing better fits something else. ( I was able to diagnose the sleeping disease in one of my Angels this way.)
Sadly, this is part of animal keeping. Diseases happen and it happens more when the fish are stressed. Overcrowding, poorer diets, poorer water conditions, etc all leave fish stressed to some point. So while you may feel the tank is "healthy", the fish are really the ones that tell you whether it is or isn't.

As for your experience with the wild Guppies, just another example of why it is sooooooooo important to QT all fish coming into your tanks for an extended period of time. This will allow most problems to surface so they can be treated before exposing your main tank to them. Ever wonder why zoos and aquariums QT their animals for MONTHS before they let them into their exhibits? THIS is why.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:44 PM   #9
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Wow I wouldn't have ever thought about tb. I'll try to find that medicine as soon as I can. I have kanaplex and metroplex :/ and the Api general cure


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Old 03-05-2016, 03:45 PM   #10
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Wow I wouldn't have ever thought about tb. I'll try to find that medicine as soon as I can. I have kanaplex and metroplex :/ and the Api general cure


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Fish TB is now a more scarier disease than before as some strains can infect Humans so you need to be careful and know what you are dealing with which is why I recommend having that book in your hands.
You can find that Sulpha med here: Fish Medication - Products Catalog pg.4 ( at the bottom of the page. )
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