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Old 06-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #1 
Enkil
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Columnaris?

As those of you who follow my journal may know, I was gifted a lovely pure red HM male. He was quite small when he was gifted to me. I QTed him for over 2 weeks. No symptoms. Perfectly healthy...

I moved my Herman into a 10 gal heated and divided planted tank with my friend's large DbT male. I'm not sure how old either fish is. Herman (HM) is roughly 7 months old. Link (DbT) is an unknown age but is quite large.

After being in the tank together for a couple of weeks, I noticed something was wrong with Herman. Upon closer inspection, I believed he has columnaris as he seems to have white fuzz in/around his mouth.

Herman is now in a 1gal hospital tank with the water being changed daily. I have done everything recommended for him and he does not seem to be getting better. It is actually worse.
His entire mouth seems to be held open as though he is holding something white and fuzzy. He still takes breath and still eats though not as vigorously. His color is good but he is very lethargic/sluggish. I'm really not sure what to do for him anymore as I have never dealt with this disease in the past. I have treated fin rot and mystery diseases but never this.

If it clogs his mouth any farther, I'm worried that he will drown/suffocate. Perhaps even starve. Is there some way for me to safely remove any of the "fuzz" to ease his life a little or would doing so only hurt him?
I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:36 AM   #2 
XxxXnoodleXxxX
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Fuzz around the mouth is columnaris.
You want to be treating with a gram negative medication. Examples are Seachem Kanaplex and Maracyn Two. Get him treated with one of those as soon as possible and Tan the water if you can. Also, don't keep the water too warm. 78-80*F would be a safe range, but Columnaris flourishes in warmer water!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:29 AM   #3 
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I would reduce the water temp to 76-77F. As stated above, Columnaris is a gram negative bacterial infection which thrives in warmer water.

You can treat it with Maracyn 2 (must be two), or API Furan 2 (or Bifuran or Jungle Fungus Clear), etc.

Some people prefer to use aquarium salt instead (about 1 to 3 teaspoons per gallon) with frequent water changes.

If this doesn't work, it could be Saprolegnia, which is a type of water fungus/mold. Here's a good website for these two: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/columnaris.html
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #4 
Kanra Chan
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That actually sounds like cotton mouth disease to me, which is fungal instead of bacterial. Columnaris looks more like fuzzy webs in the tank or on the fish (My fish had it once). But if you are treating for Columnaris, check the hardness of your water. Columnaris thrives in mineral-rich water. If your water is hard, try to reduce it and be careful to make sure the water you are using for water changes remains soft as well. Hope this helps!
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:26 PM   #5 
Enkil
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Thank you all for the advice.

Despite best efforts, Herman passed away last night. I am keeping an eye on both of the remaining fish, but neither seems ill. Both are quite active. Link (the remaining male) is very active and nesting. My female is healthy and eggy.
I let the water age before water changes.

I'm really unsure how he got sick or why he took such a drastic turn so quickly. He was acting a little better and then was suddenly gone.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #6 
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I'm sorry for your loss.....

Many diseases are opportunistic. They are present in the aquarium but do not cause disease or illness in healthy fish. When something changes, such as stress, age, wounds, etc, they can gain a foothold and cause illness.
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