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Old 09-16-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
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Columnaris Outbreak?

Hi All,
I just finished treating my tank for fin rot because my GBRs that had it. I did a full dose of Furan-2 in my community tank because I don't have a quarantine tank. As I was in the 3rd day of treatment, I noticed one of my kuhli's had some fuzzy looking patches on his skin, looked a lot like what people describe as columnaris. I finished the Furan-2 and the patches have gotten a little smaller but are still visible....is it possible that my loach developed columnaris while I was treating with Furan-2?? I thought Furan-2 was supposed to cure gram-negative bacteria like columnaris so maybe that's not what the kuhli has but I am concerned.

My ultimate question is, should I do another treatment of Furan-2 even though I just did one? Or is there another disease that can show up as fuzzy white patches on the skin? No other fish have any symptoms it's just the one kuhli right now.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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Can u post some pics?


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Old 09-16-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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It could just be fungus, not columnaris. Yes, the the treatment shoudl have helped columnaris. But, if you have a fungus you might need a different treatment, and another thing to consider is that columnaris is tough to treat and can be notoriously difficult to actually subdue.
Is the fungus on the mouth?
I have had fungus pop up after ich treatments twice because the fish get it since they are a bit weakened after the treatment. It has cleared up pretty easy both times with extra pwc after my ich treatment was done.
Can you get pics? If not, look into the difference between true fungus and columnaris.
I am sorry you are having all these troubles, this must be quite frustrating.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:44 PM   #4
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It could just be fungus, not columnaris. Yes, the the treatment shoudl have helped columnaris. But, if you have a fungus you might need a different treatment, and another thing to consider is that columnaris is tough to treat and can be notoriously difficult to actually subdue.
Is the fungus on the mouth?
I have had fungus pop up after ich treatments twice because the fish get it since they are a bit weakened after the treatment. It has cleared up pretty easy both times with extra pwc after my ich treatment was done.
Can you get pics? If not, look into the difference between true fungus and columnaris.
I am sorry you are having all these troubles, this must be quite frustrating.
Thanks for the replies. I'll try to get some pics when my boyfriend gets home, he has an iphone and my phone camera is terrible.

The fungus isn't on his mouth, it's on his side a little past his gills. I'm increasing pwc's today and hoping that helps. I'm also doing some research about fungus vs columnaris.

Also thanks for following my threads this long AbsoluteAngel
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
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No prob! Definitely get some pics when you can (I know how the crumby phone camera thing goes lol). It sounds more indicative of a general fungus IMO. While waiting to identify it, I would go ahead and make sure to continue to keep the water as pristine as possible.
What is your temperature at?
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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Ok, here are some pics. Can you see what it is?

The temp is at 79 rn, my heater is unplugged but it's been so hot here the temp stays constant @ 79. I did a 25% wc yesterday and finally got the yellow color out of the water from the Furan treatment
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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My vote is fungus, but wait for a more experienced aquarist to answer.


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Old 09-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #8
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My vote is fungus, but wait for a more experienced aquarist to answer.

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Ok thanks, any feedback is appreciated. Is fungus deadly?
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
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On its own, basic fungus is not generally a quick killer. The greater issue is that it shows a compromised immune system. All the treatments are tough on a tank. Generally a malachite green treatment would knock out fungus, but I will have to double check how scaleless fish react to it. Methylene blue is sometimes also recommended. Can you remind me of what all you have in your tank?

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Old 09-18-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
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On its own, basic fungus is not generally a quick killer. The greater issue is that it shows a compromised immune system. All the treatments are tough on a tank. Generally a malachite green treatment would knock out fungus, but I will have to double check how scaleless fish react to it. Methylene blue is sometimes also recommended. Can you remind me of what all you have in your tank?

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I have a 25 gallon with:
2x GBRs (both male)
5x Kuhlis
7x Neons
6x Harlequin rasboras
1x clown pleco
and two mystery snails
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:09 PM   #11
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And also wisteria, water sprite, red swords and a madagascar lace plant
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:11 PM   #12
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Ok, so as if I didn't have enough issues happening in my tank...I checked the pH of the tank 3 days ago and it had dropped from 6.8 to 6.0 (maybe lower, that's the lowest # on the chart). So I'm pretty sure that means the Furan killed the bb in my tank as that was one of the warnings on the bottle. I've increased water changes and started adding small amounts of baking soda to the water which helps in the short-term, but are there any other steps I should take?
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:44 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, the bb colony doesn't usually fully get through a treatment. Not much you can do besides keep up on pwc to keep your levels good. Generally, not every single bb will die so often the tank will re-cycle fully in less time than it would take to cycle it from scratch. So, that is a small bonus.
How is the fish looking and acting? Since you just did one treatment, it is up to you on if you want to ride this out and wait for the fish to get better on it's own, or to do another treatment. Malachite green or methylene blue treatment is generally what is prescribed for fungus. You can take a look at your lfs and see what they have for fungus treatment. I have always had fungus clear up on its own after a situation like this and have never treated it, so unfortunately I cannot give too much good advice on what specifically to use beyond what Google tells me.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:01 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, the bb colony doesn't usually fully get through a treatment. Not much you can do besides keep up on pwc to keep your levels good. Generally, not every single bb will die so often the tank will re-cycle fully in less time than it would take to cycle it from scratch. So, that is a small bonus.
How is the fish looking and acting? Since you just did one treatment, it is up to you on if you want to ride this out and wait for the fish to get better on it's own, or to do another treatment. Malachite green or methylene blue treatment is generally what is prescribed for fungus. You can take a look at your lfs and see what they have for fungus treatment. I have always had fungus clear up on its own after a situation like this and have never treated it, so unfortunately I cannot give too much good advice on what specifically to use beyond what Google tells me.
Yeah I've pretty much decided to wait it out and not treat the tank for fungus. From what I've read the meds can be pretty harsh and the loaches are acting happy, it looks like it's getting better on its own. Now I'm just trying to keep up my wc's. Thanks for all the help anyway

One last question, do you think using API quick start would help cycle faster?
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #15
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I haven't used it before, so I am not sure. Typically, I think bacteria in a bottle is usually a waste of money and has limited effectiveness. I generally suggest people cycle the old fashioned way and don't waste their money. However, this is a more unique situation since you have the tank stocked already.
There are mixed reviews about whether or not these products actually work, but if you want to try it, you could do that in a case like this. Just see what is available by you, and do some research into it. The one I have heard the most good reviews about is Dr Tims One and Only. I would see what you have around you and do some google searches to see if it is something you want to try. Could be worth the gamble in your situation though. Up to you of course.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:35 PM   #16
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Yeah I've pretty much decided to wait it out and not treat the tank for fungus. From what I've read the meds can be pretty harsh and the loaches are acting happy, it looks like it's getting better on its own. Now I'm just trying to keep up my wc's. Thanks for all the help anyway

One last question, do you think using API quick start would help cycle faster?
I think it wouldn't hurt. I added it to mine when I had to pretty much start from scratch after a columnaris outbreak that wiped out all but 1 of my fish from a 20 gallon tank. I literally started an entirely new aquarium part because I could never get the readings right before and after the outbreak. I had to choose between stressing my lone survivor by moving him to a fresh tank that hadn't been cycled or keep him in the one that never had good parameters. I chose to do the un cycled water because the risk was crappy water v. A fresh start.

I used quick start. My fish was so happy in the new tank and finished healing quickly. I let it cycle and then slowly began adding new fish.

Since it doesn't sound like you've been struggling with water issues until now, adding some,quick start with the water changes seems okay since there is probably some bb in there already.

My opinion from my particular experience. Others may say something else so I just wanted to clarify this helped me and may not be your best course.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:44 PM   #17
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I think it wouldn't hurt. I added it to mine when I had to pretty much start from scratch after a columnaris outbreak that wiped out all but 1 of my fish from a 20 gallon tank. I literally started an entirely new aquarium part because I could never get the readings right before and after the outbreak. I had to choose between stressing my lone survivor by moving him to a fresh tank that hadn't been cycled or keep him in the one that never had good parameters. I chose to do the un cycled water because the risk was crappy water v. A fresh start.

I used quick start. My fish was so happy in the new tank and finished healing quickly. I let it cycle and then slowly began adding new fish.

Since it doesn't sound like you've been struggling with water issues until now, adding some,quick start with the water changes seems okay since there is probably some bb in there already.

My opinion from my particular experience. Others may say something else so I just wanted to clarify this helped me and may not be your best course.
Thanks for the feedback! Yeah I've had really stable water parameters for a long time and I had just gotten my plants to really flourish. Now it looks like I have a bacterial bloom going on...ammonia and nitrite at 0 but pH is like 6.0 and it won't raise up :/
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:59 PM   #18
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Thanks for the feedback! Yeah I've had really stable water parameters for a long time and I had just gotten my plants to really flourish. Now it looks like I have a bacterial bloom going on...ammonia and nitrite at 0 but pH is like 6.0 and it won't raise up :/
I raised my ph with a baking soda/water mixture that I premixed and dissolved prior to putting in my tank. You should google the exact ratio and look at a couple of different sites to see what is the most consistently recommended. I didn't do any comparisons and overdid it. I tried ph up to no avail and that was when I tried the baking soda. It works quickly, but because I didn't make sure the ratio I used was the generally recommended one, it was too much of a spike in too little time. I immediately did a water change to help dilute it and it turned out okay. I don't have real plants so I don't know what impact it would have on them.

From all the nightmare I had with the first tank, I learned ph parameters were not the most important readings to worry about.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:15 PM   #19
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I raised my ph with a baking soda/water mixture that I premixed and dissolved prior to putting in my tank. You should google the exact ratio and look at a couple of different sites to see what is the most consistently recommended. I didn't do any comparisons and overdid it. I tried ph up to no avail and that was when I tried the baking soda. It works quickly, but because I didn't make sure the ratio I used was the generally recommended one, it was too much of a spike in too little time. I immediately did a water change to help dilute it and it turned out okay. I don't have real plants so I don't know what impact it would have on them.

From all the nightmare I had with the first tank, I learned ph parameters were not the most important readings to worry about.
Yeah I've been adding baking soda every day in really small doses. I did the same thing when originally cycling this tank and spiked the pH super high. I did a fishless cycle though so it didn't hurt anything. PH is one of the most important readings for my tank because my tap water has really low pH and my other parameters are really stable so pH is the only thing I really worry about...now that I'm re-cycling I have to keep the pH high enough to grow bb as I've read pH below like 6.5 inhibits bacterial growth.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:29 PM   #20
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Yeah I've been adding baking soda every day in really small doses. I did the same thing when originally cycling this tank and spiked the pH super high. I did a fishless cycle though so it didn't hurt anything. PH is one of the most important readings for my tank because my tap water has really low pH and my other parameters are really stable so pH is the only thing I really worry about...now that I'm re-cycling I have to keep the pH high enough to grow bb as I've read pH below like 6.5 inhibits bacterial growth.
Are you pre mixing the baking soda with water? Maybe increase the dosage slightly or do the same amount but twice a day.
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