Illness, Health & Nutrition • How to disinfect after a columnaris outbreak

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How to disinfect after a columnaris outbreak

Postby lilcountrygal » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:52 am

Friend of mine has three tanks... 125 gallon, 55 gallon and 90 gallon. She has been fighting a losing battle with columnaris for over a month now. She's lost many, many fish. She'll have a week with no deaths and then spots more white on the mouths and another fish will die. Its a never ending cycle. She's driven to neighboring states to pick up meds, dipped them in Meth Blue, salt dips, etc. Nothing beats this. Everyone has now been "exposed" to columnaris, but she is splitting up the fish as follows: Those showing signs/symptoms are in the 55 gallon and those who are not are in the 125.

She is planning on breaking down the 90 and wants to disinfect/sterilize everything so she can set it back up and add fish that she doesnt have to worry about. She has some on order with a fish store and wants a tank "columnaris free". Would emptying, and wiping tank out with bleach be enough? or will she have to completely clean the filters and recycle the tank as well?

She does have an AquaTop canister filter with UV. Would the UV be beneficial at all in columnaris?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: east coast

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Postby Robin » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:17 pm

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... isease.php

Above is an article on Columnaris that may be helpful. It's written with Discus in mind but the same holds true for cichlids.
The thing with Columnaris is that it is a disease that gets a hold of our tanks as a result of the fish being under stress. (The bacteria that causes Columnaris is ubiquitous to your tank). Poor water conditions, aggressive tank mates, rough handling, etc can all put your fish at risk. And it's contagious so once it gets a hold of one fish your other fish are more susceptible.

If she wants to completely clean out the tank, that's fine, fill it with a solution of water and bleach (10 to 1), then drain it, rinse it, fill it with declorinated water and then drain it one more time and allow to air dry. By the time the new fish arrive she'll likely have lost her beneficial bacteria in the filter so she could just replace with new.
But the most important thing in preventing further incidences of Columnaris is to first of all start out with fish that are suppose to be compatible--this will hopefully prevent nipped fins and more serious injuries--open wounds and the stress that goes with them are excellent breeding grounds for Columnaris.
Then you want to maintain good water quality with weekly partial water changes and gravel siphonings. Avoid over feeding as the waste it produces will pollute the water. If the tank needs to be re-cycled then tell her to get some Dr. Tim's One and Only--a product that will instantly cycle the tank.

Robin
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Postby lilcountrygal » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:45 pm

Thanks, Robin. Ill pass along the information. The fish she has are compatible and she is very meticulous about her water changes. We "think" when she came to PA to visit, she bought a bunch of fish and drove them back in a plastic bin to Maine. When she acclimated those and added them to her tank, that is when the columnaris took hold. So, maybe the stress of the drive.

I dont get why the disease is still running through her tank tho.... she transported the fish back to Maine the beginning of March, it hit probably a week and a half after she got home (she did pick up other fish in NH transported in bags). No major aggression and good water parameters since then, other than the medication. Does it normally last this long or until it kills the entire stock?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
lilcountrygal
 
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: east coast


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